We've seen no end of wacky schemes for Governors Island: a science campus, a giant Ferris wheel, an NYU extension. Now the members of a new research group at Columbia, the Center for Urban Real Estate, are backing a different concept?using landfill to connect Governors Island and Lower Manhattan. The center calls this imaginary 'hood LoLo, for Lower Lower Manhattan, the Times explains, and the idea is that "over 20 to 30 years?LoLo would create 88 million square feet of development and generate $16.7 billion in revenue for the city."
That revenue would be needed for, among other things, extensions of the 1 and 6 subway lines into the new neighborhood and for a bridge to it from Red Hook. Worth it? Here's what LoLo would include: a historic district on Governors Island, 270 acres of open space, and 3.9 million square feet worth of public buildings. The center also calls for the replacement of the island's current sea walls with marshland to better absorb storm impacts. And since we're playing around with landfill anyway, the center suggests creating barrier islands in the harbor as another form of storm protection. Of course, there are a lot of building-with-landfill rules to deal with before this can become a reality. Might we suggest a gondola instead?
· Visions of LoLo, a Neighborhood Rising from Landfill [NYT]
· Governors Island coverage [Curbed]