By Adam Brock
Gateway National Recreation Area is one of New York City’s best-kept natural secrets. A collection of playing fields, tidal marshes and islands on the southeastern edge of Brooklyn, Gateway is chronically underfunded and poorly served by mass transit – with the result that hardly any New Yorkers (myself included) have ever been there.
With the Envisioning Gateway contest, it looks like that might be changing. Sponsored by the National Parks Conservation Association, the contest lets you vote on one of 8 professional proposals to revamp the area – most of them with a serious ecological bent.
The Reassembling Ecologies proposal suggests clustering all the human activity along a single axis, leaving the rest to remain untouched. [un]natural selection takes the opposite approach, creating a constructed wetland and connecting the islands with bridges and causeways, with the premise that “human health and ecology exist within and not separate from the surrounding environment”. There are also proposals to turn Gateway into a “national eco-urban research zone” and to flood the area and install a network of hydroponic pods.
Voting ends at the end of the year, after which NPCA will present the designs and public feedback to the National Park Service. Definitely worth a look – and a vote.