Presenting the 5 Finalists for Pitching the City 2015!

Architizer Editors Architizer Editors

The results are in! After a months-long open call and painstaking selection process, five finalists have been chosen to present their ideas to improve the contemporary city at the biennial Pitching the City competition. This high-octane live pitch event is brought to you by Architizer and the Municipal Art Society (MAS) as part of the New Museum’s IDEAS CITY Festival and will be held on Friday, May 29th.

The intense pitching session will take place at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, where the visionaries behind the “Miami Underline,” “Open Lobby,” “East River Skyway,” “Melbourne Docklands Surf Park,” and “NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative” will present their proposals before a panel of experts in a diverse range of urban issues. The esteemed panel includes urban-revitalization strategist and Peabody Award-winning broadcaster Majora Carter, OMA principal Shohei Shigematsu, and cofounder of the design and technology company Control Group Scott Anderson. Each pitch will be followed by several minutes of feedback from the jury, and the winner will be decided by a live audience vote. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Meet the finalists below!

The Miami Underline – Meg Daly, Founder, Friends of the Underline; and Hamish Smyth, Designer, Pentagram

Much like New York’s Highline, the Miami Underline will transform the underutilized land below Miami’s MetroRail, from the Miami River to Dadeland South Station, into a linear park, world-class urban trail, and art destination. It will connect surrounding communities, creating over a hundred acres of open space with restored natural habitats that encourage exercise, attract development along US1, and act as a 10-mile canvas for artistic expression. The Underline will be Miami-Dade County’s first mobility corridor integrating all modes of transit and is also expected to be the spine of a future network of 250 miles of trails. New York High Line co-designer James Corner Field Operations has been selected to create the master plan.

Read the Q&A with the Miami Underline →

Open Lobby – Lindsey May, Creator

The rise of the co-working space has been spurred by demand, but so too has the cost of renting a desk at these venues. For those looking for an alternative, Open Lobby is a network of affordable public co-working spaces in the underused, overlooked lobbies of office towers in Midtown East, idly marking the boundary between the public sidewalk and the private offices above despite their premium zip codes. Open Lobby activates these sites — the ideal site for this public-private partnership — as a productive public space. Open Lobby will manage the physical spaces, the urban policy mechanisms, and the financial structures that support it.

Read the Q&A with Lindsey May of Open Lobby →

East River Skyway – Daniel Levy, President and Founder

Need a faster commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan? Look up to the East River Skyway, a proposed high-speed aerial cable-car network that would link the Brooklyn and Queens waterfronts to Manhattan. This proposal is designed to alleviate the increased congestion along major transit routes and accommodate the rapid growth of these areas. The cross-river trip from Williamsburg to Manhattan (Delancey Street) would be about five minutes; Greenpoint to Manhattan would be an additional eight to 10 minutes, reducing the trip from Greenpoint to less than 20 minutes. Aerial cable cars can operate in any weather conditions and create no emissions or noise. Many larger cities have already adopted the transportation system or are planning similar proposals including London, Singapore, Rio, Berlin, Hong Kong, Mexico City, La Paz, and Caracas.

Read the Q&A with Daniel Levy of East River Skyway →

Melbourne Docklands Surf Park – Damian Rogers, Creator

This partnership between Damian Rogers Architecture and Arup Engineering brings surfing into the inner city with a large manmade surfable wave. Docklands Surf Parks seeks to generate a new public space and spot for surfing enthusiasts to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With Melbourne’s long legacy of city parks, this team wanted to find a way to use the new redevelopment of Docklands as a catalyst for a new typology of parks. They asked: how can the City of Melbourne connect with the water?

Read the Q&A with Damian Rogers of Melbourne Docklands Surf Park →


Image via ART21 / New York Close Up.

NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative – Interim Steering Committee and Facilitation Team: Mark Scott, BlackLandMatters; Paula Z. Segal, 596 Acres; and Caroline Woolard, NYCTBD and OurGoods

As every New Yorker knows, real estate comes at a premium here in the city. Cooperatives, small businesses, and community-based organizations need access to capital to purchase space — permanent, affordable workspace. There is no coherent infrastructure out there to support those in the manufacturing and retail sectors in need of help financing space. The NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative will create a fund that will make loans to groups who receive vacant city buildings for community, commercial, and manufacturing spaces and to groups who are working with private owners to purchase their spaces. The goal is to invest in a resilient city by creating a network of property owners, community-serving enterprises, and residents who will demand the city to allow vacant public buildings to serve community-oriented purposes and be held in community land trusts.

Read the full Q&A with Caroline Woolard, Mark Scott, and Paula Z. Segal of NYC REIC →

Register now to join us for the free live pitch event on May 29, 2015, at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral!

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