The final resting place of Ground Zero remains and rubble and once taller than the Statue of Liberty, when complete Freshkills Park will be the largest prettified landfill in the United States. The NYC mayor’s office has given the go ahead to the Dubai-based Land Art Generator Initiative to solicit ideas for beautiful, renewable energy public artwork to adorn this important site on the outskirts of Manhattan.
LAGI 2010, the first biennial design competition premised on the slogan “energy can be beautiful,” enjoyed resounding success. Sponsored by Masdar, covered by all of the world’s major media houses, and held in Abu Dhabi, the competition drew over 400 entries. The winning design – Lunar Cubit – comprises energy-generating pyramids that light up in accordance with various phases of the lunar cycle.
LAGINYC 2012 is an ideas competition to design a site-specific public artwork that will be not only beautiful, but will have the ability to harness energy cleanly from nature and convert it to electricity for the utility grid. Authorization to gear the competition specifically for Freshkills came directly from New York City’s mayoral office.
The new site overlooking the iconic Manhattan skyline will eventually feature hiking trails, mountain biking, community events, and a memorial to the people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
Fresh from the LAGI desk:
The expansiveness of the design site at Freshkills Park presents the opportunity to power the equivalent of thousands of homes with the public artwork… and it offers the perfect environment for a showcase example of the immense potential of aesthetically interesting renewable energy installations for sustainable urban planning.
The design brief will be released via landartgenerator.org in early 2012 and the competition guidelines will provide detailed information about the specific site location within the 2,200 acre park.
Although the monetary prize does not guarantee commission for construction, the LAGI team has announced that it will work with local and international stakeholders to realize the most pragmatic and aesthetic designs that emerge.
Killing apathy with creativity:
At one time, the teeming Freshkills landfill was taller than the Statue of Liberty. Local pressure and support from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has since culminated in a commitment to transform that environmental blight into the largest urban park of its kind, three times as large as Central Park.
Many of the world’s most creative minds are attempting to advance ideas and technologies that can produce clean power with a positive environmental impact, but stagnant policies frequently create significant barriers to implementing such progressive projects.
Strong political will, on the other hand, has enormous power to manifest regenerative ideas. NYC’s decision to invite energy-generating art submissions to the historically-important Freshkills Park is likely to inspire similar action around the world.
images courtesy of Robert Ferry, Land Art Generator Initiative
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