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Curban Planning #001: Hudson Yards 2.0 Design Challenge

Something new: a Curbed urban design/architecture challenge that we're calling Curban Planning. Consider this a dry run. If the results amaze and/or amuse, perhaps we'll be doing more of these.

This morning, Governor Eliot Spitzer finally issued the request for proposals for Hudson Yards on the far west side of Hell's Pantry in the West 30s. Developers have 90 days to bid on either or both of the 13-acre parcels that together make up the site. The Gov says he'd like to see "another Rockefeller Center" rise on the site. Er, great.

Except: at Hudson Yards, we've got a problem. The MTA, in its glory, came up with a site plan for the railyards—a plan that's supposed to tell developers where they can situate the giant buildings they're undoubtedly salivating at the chance to build. That the site plan is crap is a fact we've commented on before. Now, with the MTA issuing requests for developers' plans—and the recent news that preserving the northern third of the High Line will be an expensive affair, making its teardown a viable option—we're really getting down to brass tacks. Bottom line: they could really fuck this up.

All this got us to thinking: what might some clever Curbed reader(s) do with the land? Herewith, we issue the first Curbed design challenge, with $1,000 in prizes to be doled out to the winners.

1) The boundaries for the challenge shall be the Western Rail Yard, from West 30th to West 33rd Street between 11th and 12th Avenues. (Feel free to have fun with the Eastern Rail Yard if you want, but it'll just be extra credit.)

2) The draft of the strategic framework for the land specifies a site plan for the Western Railyard. You may adhere to this site plan or not, as you see fit. (If you do, this PDF may be of use.) We may give awards for those who adhere to the plan and those do not, as we're feeling it.

3) Submissions can be in any form and any media, but must include at least one digital rendering of the site, and at least one paragraph describing the plan. The image can be in the form of fancy renderings, or something scrawled on the back of a napkin, so long as you can scan it and send it our way. If you've got more images, or some video, or whatever, we'll be excited to see it. Go wild.

4) Submissions to by 5pm on Friday, July 27. Soon after, we'll dole out the awards, dividing the $1,000 prize pool at our discretion, but with at least $500 to the overall winner. Winners will be featured on Curbed, natch.

5) Have fun! Let's do this!

· Spitzer: Turn NYC Railyards into 'Rockefeller Center' [Reuters]
· On Hudson Yards' Dizzying, Dark Strategic Framework [Curbed]
· High Line's Upper Third: Got $117m Handy to Restore It? [Curbed]

The Fine Print: Get ready to get lawyered up! Entries will be judged entirely at the discretion of Curbed. By submitting any rendering, illustration, photo, or information to Curbed, you grant to Curbed an irrevocable, perpetual and royalty-free right to use, reproduce, edit, display, transmit, prepare derivative works of, modify, publish and otherwise make use of the submitted photo or other information. By submitting to Curbed, you hereby represent and warrant that the submitted illustration, rendering, or photo render does not and shall not infringe on any copyright, any rights of privacy or publicity of any person, or any other right of any third party, and you have the right to grant any and all rights and licenses granted to Curbed herein. You understand and intend that any photo or information submitted by you to Curbed may be available for viewing, rating, review and comment on by the public, and understand that comments or ratings with which you disagree or are unhappy about may be published or otherwise become associated with anything you submit. Fear not, this will be fun.