As Federal, state and local governments undertake consideration of large-scale investments in the renovation and replacement of urban infrastructures, we see a unique opportunity to reconsider the role of these systemic networks and their effect on our contemporary urban landscapes.
In the scenario outlined herein, a new type of green infrastructure is deployed at urban locations comprising concentrated sources of CO2 production. This new infrastructure utilizes a proprietary system of industrial scale algal agriculture to sequester and consume greenhouse gas emissions (in particular CO2) in order to limit their introduction into the atmosphere, while simultaneously creating a new economic resource through the production of oxygen, biofuels, bioplastics, nutraceuticals and/or agricultural feeds. In the scenario shown, this new infrastructure manifests itself as a series of pier-like armatures linked to the ventilation system for the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel.
What is unique about this proposition is not just the introduction of large-scale green infrastructure in the context of a city, but rather the use of this infrastructure to create an exceptional public realm amenity for the city. Rather than considering urban infrastructures as a necessary evil only to be hidden or mitigated, we view the renovation and re-imagination of these systems as opportunities to create new forms of civic and social domain that have the capacity to positively transform the American urban landscape.
Our proposal for a new infrastructural typology that is one part climate action; one part agricultural production; one part ecological preserve; one part public realm; and one part economic catalyst represents what should be the aspiration for all newly deployed urban infrastructures – the ability to fundamentally improve the economic and social quality of a city, as well as the associated lives of its current and future residents.