Train of thoughts

Van Alen Institute’s spring festival focuses on getting around New York City

Architecture Development Education News Other Transportation Urbanism
Van Alen Institute's spring festival focuses on getting around New York City. Pictured: The L train (Robin Schatell)
Van Alen Institute's spring festival focuses on getting around New York City. Pictured: The L train (Robin Schatell)

New York City subways and buses serve eight million riders per weekday. However, the transit system that many New Yorkers rely on encounters frequent delays and suspensions. As a response, New York-based Van Alen Institute will bring together city planners and participants to imagine new approaches towards seeing, navigating, and moving through the urban environment, with a series of events ranging from bus and bike tours to a flash design competition, from June 17 to June 23.

The Van Alen-organized spring festival, “FLOW! Getting Around the Changing City” seeks to rethink the consequences of the 15-month-long L-train shutdown, among other transit issues in New York City. They will host “The Williamsburg Challenge,” where participants will test out what it’s like to travel from Union Square to Williamsburg without using the L train.

The institute has also invited professional teams to propose creative solutions to solve the over-ground congestion created by the L train shutdown, in a one-night-only design competition.

On June 20, AN’s very own Assistant Editor Jonathan Hilburg will moderate the talk, “Mind the Gap: Improving Urban Mobility through Science and Design.” Participants include author Susan Magsamen, Perkins + Wills Associate Principal Gerald Tierney, Gehl Studio Associate Julia Day, and Multimer Strategy Associate Taylor Nakagawa.

William Whyte captured in a still from The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces (Courtesy Van Alen Institute)

Other events include an East Village-to-Harlem bus tour led by sociologist and author Garnette Cadogan, a four-hour Brooklyn bicycle tour, a screening of the William Holly Whyte-produced The Social Life of Small Urban Space, and an interactive Urban Mobility Variety Show at Figment NYC featuring dance, music and other performances.

Check out this link for a full schedule and tickets.

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