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Curbed Awards '10: Adventures in Urban Planning

It's time to make up a bunch of awards and hand them out to the most deserving people, places and things in the real estate, architecture, and neighborhood universes of New York City. Yep, it's time for the Seventh Annual Curbed Awards! Today's topic: parks and urban planning!

Outlandish Urban Plan of the Future

How does one make a sunken highway a little less life-sucking to its surrounding neighborhoods? Easy: By building an $85 million steel canopy covered in energy-producing photovoltaic panels! Ladies and gentlemen, the BQE trench!

Outlandish Urban Plan of the Past

The Roaring '20s were wild times, and they gave us this wild idea: Connect Manhattan with Brooklyn by draining the East River, fill it with land to "relieve traffic congestion" and drop a massive new City Hall on top. That's the bee's knees!

Best Plan For Dealing With the Apocalypse

After Al Gore melts the ice caps and floods our metropolis to the point where it's no longer inhabitable, at least we'll have these floating interlocking greenhouses in the East River to provide us with both food and shelter. Phew, that was a close one!

The SPURA Award

Awarded annually to the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (aka SPURA) for its yearly starts and stops in the 50-year effort to develop the large Lower East Side parking lots along Delancey Street near the Williamsburg Bride. This year's tally of SPURA posts: 5! The most active SPURA year in Curbed's history! This thing will be breaking ground in no time, folks.

Coolest Seat on the Street

We mean no insult to fans of the classic green New York City bench. But this Chelsea Improvement Company bench at Tenth Avenue and West 16th Street does fit in quite nicely with the West Chelsea Starchitecture District and its futuristic style.


Revenge of the Megaprojects!
5) Future middle-class utopia Hunters Point South has narrowed its list of possible developers down to three.
4) Moynihan Station broke ground on the first phase of its $1 billion construction project.
3) Related Companies is beginning work on Hudson Yards' first tower, an office building with 25 floors of luxury condos on top.
2) The Supreme Court gave Columbia University's 17-acre expansion in Manhattanville the thumbs-up, rejecting local business owners' appeal earlier this month.
1) The Barclays Center finally started getting its steel, while the building that housed the last Atlantic Yards holdout was demolished. All to a soundtrack!

This Year in Gondolas

Suck on this, Calatrava!

Most Amusingly Named Study That Would Otherwise Be Boring

The budget for the Department of City Planning's Vision 2020 project?basically a giant brainstorm of ideas for how to change the city's waterfront over the next 10 years?might not exist. But the concepts are fun! They include an improved East Side esplanade and pedestrian bridges and changes to the South Street Seaport.

Scariest Neighborhood Takeover


All the rallies the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation can schedule aren't enough to stop NYU's great Village land grab. The plans include superblocks and a new tower, and that's not even counting the other neighborhoods the university's thinking of taking over.

The Mission Accomplished Medal of Honor

Awarded to the rare large-scale urban project that actually gets completed, this year's medal goes to Times Square. The opening of 11 Times Square marks the end of the 30-year redevelopment project that replaced porn shops with t-shirt sellers. Now even the last remnants of debauchery are for the tourists.
· All Curbed Awards 2010 posts [Curbed]