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Designers See Garbage-Filled, Barren Concrete Future for NYC

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Think of New York City 75 years or so from now. What do you see? Is the Second Avenue Subway finally complete? Can we teleport? Has Manhattan become so filled with garbage you can only see the top third of the Empire State Building? For at least a handful of designers, the last option is apparently how the Big Apple will wind up, but in a non-disgusting, energy-producing way. This idea was the winning submission to the CityVision competition, which asked entrants to imagine possible futures for New York. It's mindboggling for a lot of reasons, but mostly because the plan is contingent upon all residents of Manhattan moving to the outer boroughs.

The idea is that Manhattan becomes so densely populated that everybody decides to relocate to the other boroughs, leaving an empty shell of a cityscape. Naturally, the city decides to turn Manhattan into a landfill (you can almost hear the smug laughter from Staten Island) so they can use the decomposing waste as an energy source.

There's some sort of network inside the landfill, perhaps to let people get to work, and the top has been transformed into a lovely rolling landscape of parkland, with skyscrapers poking up from the ground. The submission shows a future New Yorker cover (above) about the new cityscape, and it is disturbingly dated 2076, which means these guys think NYC could be a dump in less than 65 years. Sounds completely possible.

Second place went to a more apocalyptic vision, but one that is not too far off from how many New Yorkers think of this fair city: as the only place on the planet. The designs show Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn surrounded by a gigantic concrete containing wall, which is holding back the rising sea (see lead image). Queens, New Jersey, and the Bronx are no where to be seen, and Manhattan has become an archaeological site. Interestingly, the rivers are dried up, despite the super-high ocean, and Central Park has been wiped out, but Battery Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park still look quite verdant. No people live here, but instead the proposal is to "entomb Manhattan in a state of near-destruction, serving as a monument to the twentieth century industrial paradigm." Creepy.
· New York CityVision 2012 Competition Results Announced [AN Blog]