While it certainly won’t be as terrifying as a Godzilla or King Kong tearing through city streets, what you might call Kitty Kong will be pawing through a model of an imagined ideal city at the Flux Factory in Long Island City, Queens, beginning Saturday. Developed by a team of children, artists, and city planners, the Flux Factory’s Kitty City project is an intergenerational experiment in collaborative urbanism, designed to teach kids the way cities get built, encourage democratic decision making, and challenge the opacity of urban planning processes.
Throughout the past month, a group of children, ages 7-12, participated in a series of workshops in which they designed the many components of their meowtropolis, including buildings and parks, water, transportation, and sanitation systems, housing, commercial, and cultural districts, and even a Museum of Natural Cat History. Their proposal then had to pass through a rigorous approval process before the kids could begin construction. Tomorrow their 1,7000 square foot city, equipped with waist-high condos, cat-houses perched upon giant mushrooms, cardboard residential towers, and kitty-hammocks will open up to 30 eager kittyzens.
Aside from introducing children to participatory urbanism, civic engagement, and urban design, the project will also provide homes for dozens of orphaned cats. For tomorrow’s ribbon cutting, Flux Factory has partnered with For Animals, Inc., a South Ozone Park-based, no-kill animal shelter that will provide the city with its first residents. Once the cats get the chance to explore their custom-made urban environment, you can adopt them on-site free of charge.
Stop by between Flux Factory in Long Island City noon and six tomorrow to see the Kitty City in action and maybe bring home a feline friend of your own.