Is it broken? Did we break New York City? Did the wave finally break, and roll back? These two architects say they can fix it, so it must be busted.

"The first thing you do," says architect #1, is go back in time and never create Central Park. Here's how he put it: "You build a larger network of parks. If I were the master planner in 1750, I don't know if I would have done a single Central Park, I would have thought of it as an east side park and a west side park." Like so:


Central Park really ties the city together! So we disagree with that one. But Gregg Pasquarelli (of SHoP Architects) and Vishaan Chakrabarti (of Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism) have some great points, otherwise. Here are a few:

  • They recommend getting rid of all privately owned cars. Hurrah! "Do you know how much land is dedicated to cars? Let's take a typical street... 2/3 of it is filled with people parking their cars. If we just got rid of free parking on streets, you increase the capacity of the city by 40%." This would make way for greenways, to be used by pedestrians and cyclists.
  • They also correctly state that "the biggest mistake was the demolition of Penn Station... it was the beginning in our disinvestment in infrastructure." Their solution: "Move the manhole cover of MSG off the station, build a new arena nearby, and bring light and air back to the station."
  • And then there's our mass transit system—"There are two major things the subway system missed. We needed a way to get from the lower west side, to the upper east side. There needs to be more crosstown connections." Essentially, we need to "make more of an even grid."

Here's their full assessment of the city as it stands today:

Are we the best city in the world? If you would like continue thinking so, don't click play:

[Wired via Curbed]