Friday, December 16, 2011


Michael Salvador

Team: Commercial Ecology

Site: Red bull arena, Harrison, New Jersey

Project: Redbull Park

My group focused on the three hearts of commerce in Harrison, NJ. The three hearts are Harrison ave, Redbull Arena, and Walmart. The focus of my intervention was to try and connect the 3 hearts together to create a interactive space with the people of harrison. I wanted to created a space that would bring in energy that Harrison ave has and what the area around Redbull Arena is lacking

Disillusionment of Redevelopment: Red Bull Arena

 Colin Macfadyen

TEAM: Commercial Ecologies
SITE: Red Bull Redevelopment Area, Harrison, New Jersey
PROJECT: Disillusionment of Redevelopment: Red Bull Arena

My group worked to uncover the dynamics of commercial ecologies in Harrison, New Jersey. A major component of this research was the ongoing Redevelopment Plan that was originally spearheaded by the introduction of Red Bull Arena to the waterfront area. The Arena was intended to be a vital role in not only fostering an environment for a commercial area, but also to provide community oriented spaces (for events like graduations or regional youth soccer matches during).

Ultimately, there are many gaps in the relationship between Red Bull and the Town of Harrison. A sense of disillusionment comes not only in the non-participation of Red Bull, but in the formalization of the town plan itself. While conceptually the plan speaks to deeper needs of the community at large, its form is oriented towards wholesale development in the hand of a single developer.

I focus my observations on the area immediately surrounding Red Bull Arena. Fifteen years in development, there is little to show for it outside of the Arena itself — largely due to a stagnant economy. How can development proceed in an slow, iterative process based around outward development from a node? This node, unlike Red Bull Stadium, will be able to foster both commercial and community oriented enterprises. A theater, for instance, has the potential to show movies, historical films, host theatre groups, religious events, and provide childcare. This node could also be an empty space that is made to receive three important elements to the area: sports, wildlife, and water with the built environment attaching itself to the edges.

Finally, whether development is determinate or not (based completely on developers), there are available spaces, and potentialities for interim and temporary development to take place in the meantime. Furthermore, the surrounding area has potential for growth, and could even act as test sites for a new methodology. Ultimately, I hope to bring to light the promises made by the Redevelopment Plan (published in October 2003), and propose a rethinking of the development to come in the future.  

Infrastructural Connections

Infrastructural Connections
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Laura Moen

Team: Productive Ecologies

Site: Jersey City, NJ

Project: Infrastructural Connections: Power Plant Repurposing

This project is a continuation of prior research regarding the PSEG Hudson Generating Station. This is a coal-powered plant and formerly one of the largest polluters in the country. Located on the Eastern bank of the Hackensack River, this plant is a prime environment for a re-purposing project.
I began with a programmatic analysis of the adjacent area of Jersey City to explore possibilities for the re-development of this power station. By using the infrastructure of the existing plant to develop programs lacking from this area of Jersey City, connections can be formed that foster community involvement as well as environmental action. I proposed new pathways to directly connect the Hudson River Walkway with the Hackensack River. By connecting this area through programmatic interventions, the community gains valuable features previously missing from the area. I identified three major waterways to involve in this connection process: the Hackensack River, Reservoir No. 3 and the Hudson River. Each water body was chosen for specific remediation functions. The Hackensack has been highly polluted by PSEG, the Reservoir has frequent flooding issues and the Hudson Walkway is an ongoing development project bringing recreational programming to the waterfront.

Befriending a Marsh: Responses to Conflict in Kearny

Marco Rangel

TEAM: Productive Ecologies

SITE: Kearny, NJ

PROJECT: Befriending a Marsh: Responses to Conflict in Kearny

DESCRIPTION: The research that was conducted in/for Kearny, NJ and the Meadowlands region inspired me to primarily focus on and address three points of conflict: the inflow of contaminants at Kearny Marsh, the flooding issue at Kearny’s edge, and the lack of human access and connection to the wetlands. In addition, I put some thought into repurposing Keegan Landfill, which sits adjacent to Kearny Marsh. This merely encompasses adding onto current plans for renewable energy production onsite. The following ideas outline an overarching goal in this project, which is to bring people and cleaner water to the wetlands and in turn allow for a more productive interaction between ecological systems and an ever-growing urban realm.

After meeting with a landscape architect, I learned about several ways that storm water contamination and flooding issues could potentially be solved. In order to filter dirty water that accumulates after rainfall on impervious surfaces, the key is to slow down the water before it reaches a larger, more sensitive body of water. The process of slowing the water down includes inserting landscaped drainage along streets and existing parks. In this site’s case, much of the storm water runoff finds its way into Kearny Marsh, concentrated at Frank’s Creek.

A topography study revealed that most of that water starts along Kearny Ave to the west. Because there is a big section of residential streets in between the Kearny edge (Schuyler Ave) and the highest point in elevation where storm water begins to run from (Kearny Ave), I decided to include that section as one area for intervention. The idea is to reconsider the design of streetscapes and small existing parks in a way that is conscious of filtering dirty storm water.

In regards to the flooding issue that Kearny’s edge experiences during big storms, I developed an idea that calls for softening the current edge where an abandoned railroad sits amongst a thicket of plant overgrowth. In order to accomplish this, the idea is to slightly bring the wetlands into the land at two points along the ¾ mile strip, so that the flow of water from Kearny is a little more evenly dispersed along the waterfront. One point would be at Frank’s Creek where water already passes through, and the other would be at Gunnel Oval Park, to the north. After passing through efficiently landscaped streetscapes, the water would then be further filtered at these two wetland zones where an abundance of plants greatly contributes to cleansing the water.

In response to the concern over bringing not only water but also people to the wetlands, the answer is rather simple. Because there are two existing parks along Kearny’s edge, the idea is to utilize these spaces as entrances to a waterfront greenway that includes interaction with the recreated wetland zones and the spaces in between. The greenway could manifest beautifully if design consideration is applied to a storm water experience where the landscape deliberately changes during periods of heavy rainfall. Ultimately, the edge can become a haven for a small set of programs. One idea is to construct a kayak/canoe center where people can actually get the chance to venture into the marsh. Also, because the two current parks are used for sports, which are important to the town, an empty lot can potentially transition into some passive green space.

Lastly, plans discovered in the research for Keegan Landfill regarding a solar energy farm inspired me to intensify the productivity of the space. Current plans state that a mere 13 out of 100 acres will be dedicated to solar energy production. If things were ideal, much more of the acreage could be appropriated for solar energy use that can feed into the surrounding power grid. Ironically, the current solar farm is to be co-owned and operated by PSE&G, which is the backbone behind the controversial power plant to the east and along the Hackensack River. Perhaps greater energy production at this site could make up for losses that may occur at the power plant. In addition, my idea is to also bring people to this more expansive solar farm. Sites of energy production are often alienated from communities, and because this particular type of energy production is fascinating and in some ways innovative, why not foster awareness and educate the people who live in the region? There is no better way to get to know a new neighbor than to simply go over and say hello, learn more about them, and ultimately consider the friendly and mutually productive relationship that you can both share. The vision for this interaction includes a possible education center onsite, meandering paths through large swaths of solar panel rows, and some passive space along the edge of the marsh.


Elaine Choi

Team: Commercial Ecology

Site: Wal-Mart, Harrison, NJ

Project: Creating Networks on Wal-Mart

This project initially was a mapping project, maps that needed to have selective and filtered data for us to convey a problem or a condition. Right away the site had 3 recognizable "hearts" that functioned as local businesses, a redevelopment project, and a globalized flag-ship store. The findings after arranging, visualizing, and organizing the data of the place showed that the already existing local economy in Harrison New Jersey was functioning, with diversity in geographical arrangements and relatively an animated landscape....

The existing conditions of the site Wal-Mart expressed certain views on the landscape it inhabited. A consumerist center that created underutilized as well as polluted industrial patches that were sectioned off, offering a view of a vast flat parking lot, and a hidden marshes around the edges. My initial approach was connecting many elements of hidden ecologies with Wal-Mart, an aim to translate what physical structure, or proposal needs to be made to the site. After a bit of unsuccessful attempts to come up with a blue print for a park, the approach was later on focused on designing a political and spacial process to engage the space as well as who inhabits it. There was quite a bit of exploration, with situational humor that ended up being polemical cases of the site,extremes being a squatter or a settlement and another being a mega-shopping complex. Through many different diagrams, and studies, I envisioned possible transition of a consumer to a citizen and the network of programs and community involvement that gave away clues to a physical interpretation.
The project overall for me was experimental, meditative, involved organizing of many political ideas of civic engagement, and research methods to translate ideas to the physical . Although there are jumbles of theories, in this project, it gave some meaning to the paradigm of research and practice.

Elaine Choi

The Lowline

Mikaela Kvan

TEAM: Productive Ecologies

SITE: Kearny, Newark, Harrison, Jersey City, Hoboken, Passaic River, Hackensack River

PROJECT: The Lowline

DESCRIPION: This particular area of New Jersey is very diverse. The geographical configuration of the land has produced interesting city boundaries and development. Known for being an industrial hub, these portions of the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers hold some of the most toxic sites in the greater New Jersey area. Additionally, the growing metropolitan region of New York City is putting pressure for development on Kearny, Newark, Jersey City, and Hoboken. Because of this pressure it is essential for these towns to begin the remediation process on former industrial sites as well as institute sustainable development practices.

For my section of this project I focused on developing connectivity between cities and towns around the lower Meadowlands division. It was my thought that instead of expanding to meet the needs of Manhattan, it will be critical for these areas to look within existing communities for development. By using a series of narratives to show scenarios taking place in the lower tip of Kearny it is easy to imagine the potential this area, and others like it, holds. Using a combination of light rail, biking and walking paths, this 30 square mile area currently inconveniently established suddenly becomes accessible.

New Dwelling Conditions in Harrison, NJ

Dobin Son / Jaewoo Chung
Dwelling Ecologies
Harrison, New Jersey
New Dwelling Conditions in Harrison, New Jersey

Improvement Plans for Residents in Harrison, New Jersey

Starting with a team of dwelling ecology in Harrison, New Jersey, we were studying comparison about the new residential areas next to Passaic River,
along with existing neighborhood located within 5 minutes from the new residential block. The essential theme for our previous project was to compare private and public gardens and sustainability between those two area. Briefly, this nicely built walkway from new residential area was open to public, but its failed to attract residents since there is nothing to enjoy from, meanwhile the old residential units had private gardens in their own cultivations in their gardens. After 6 weeks of researching and analyzing the comparison, we came up with three innovative plans to suggest for residents in Harrison - "New and Completed" Public walkway type of park, "Continued Harrison Ave" on 1st, and finally, "Semi-Public Park" on 2nd and Bergen Street.

Along with our formula, we approached Harrison as in collaborative, vital, and harmony of urban fabrics in the neighborhood. Red and Yellow rectangles represent the new and old residential coverage, and the outcome represents expanded (and flexible) resident's movement in Harrison Avenue, "located between the new and old buildings, is the key attract people from the central business district on Harrison Avenue. Our Formula represent the symbol of balancing both new and old residential areas, and try to transform entire area more commercialize and vital. By renovating the space to plant commercial buildings, such as coffee shops, restaurants, deli stores, etc. Our idea of commercializing neighbor will distribute people in Harrison start to visit on extended 2nd version of Harrison Avenue. People will start to enjoy the "New and Completed" public walkways, which will provide continuous walkway from Bridge Street to Essex Street, and convertible urban layers inspired from urban fabrics of old residential with recreational elements and brand new edge conditions. Lastly, "Semi-Public" space is a mini-version of Redbull Stadium in harrison, dedicated for the residents in Harrison town to deliver warm, playful, and interactive atmosphere with in comfort public space.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dwelling Ecologies

Combinded Hybrid Map

This is our 'Combinded Hybrid Map' that included all the information as one lay out.
We not only combined our information, but also connected to each others.
These are like an information tree.
It makes easier to read how our research went through from big scale in to small details.

Dwelling Ecologies


This is our "Infographics" that included specific facts and stats about dwelling conditions in Harrison, NJ.
2D and 3D models indicates actual structure from one of new and old residential buildings.
Graph supports basic facts about people in Harrison, NJ; such as populations and incomes.
Diagram in the middle offers specific information about old and new housings, such as price, materials, stories, features and sizes.

Dwelling Ecologies

Power/Economies Map

This is our "Power/Economies Map" that included information about commuting systems and flows in those two old and new residential areas. Our map shows building structures in central business district and all of specific traffics and transportation systems in Harrison, NJ.

Dwelling Ecologies

Ecology Map

This is our 'Ecology Map' that included information about ecological conditions in both Old and New dwelling areas.
We actually found great points from creating this map.
First of all, by pulling each elements up, we were able to find clear differences in green spaces in both Old and New areas.
There are private gardens in old dwelling area, structured with complexity. There are public type of garden in new dwelling area, structured as one large place where residents can share green spaces.
Great part of this 'Ecology Map' is that we were able to compare those two conditions by looking at
scales, themes, uses and structures.

Dwelling Ecologies

Structure Map

This is our 'Structure Map' that included specific changes of urban elements in Harrison, NJ.
We included information about construction statuses, such as area that is in a process of constructing
and buildings that had been reconstructed.
General graphical idea was to compare structure conditions in 1995 and in 2010.
By pulling out one specific area and observing through changes, we found great ways to learn the city,
and it was the key point of creating this structure map.

Dwelling Ecologies

Base Map

This is our 'Base Map' that includes information about dwelling conditions in Harrison, NJ.
We tried to find specific conflicts between 'New residential area' and 'Old residential area.'
Red zone indicates location of 'New Residential Area'and yellow zone indicates location of 'Old Residential Area.'
Our map includes different stories of housing buildings, different type of streets,bridges, highways, parks and general geological elements in two zones.