CLOSE
Joey Lax-Salinas via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Joey Lax-Salinas via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Plan to Transform NYC's Broadway Into 40 Blocks of Green Space

Joey Lax-Salinas via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Joey Lax-Salinas via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Following the High Line's evolution from abandoned railway to bustling park, urban planners have been brainstorming creative ways to develop more green space for New York City. This latest proposal from Perkins Eastman Architects is unique—instead of utilizing unused space, it would re-purpose one of the busiest streets in the borough.

The Green Line would turn New York’s iconic Broadway into a 40-block stretch of green space running through central Manhattan. Broadway was chosen because of its unique layout: instead of following the conventional grid pattern, it cuts diagonally through the lower half of Manhattan, which has allowed for the construction of public squares. In addition to providing an outdoor area for pedestrians and cyclists, the “linear park” would act as a thread connecting some of the most famous public spaces in the city, including Union Square, Madison Square, Herald Square, Times Square, and Columbus Circle. 

Actually going ahead with the proposal would be a major undertaking, but a few recent changes to the area have already laid the foundation for the project. Broadway already includes a protected bike lane, and the stretch of road running through Times Square has been closed to cars for over six years. And while the new park would be primarily used as a space for pedestrians, it would still remain accessible as a shortcut for emergency vehicles.

The architects behind the proposal say the added real estate value the park would introduce to the area would eventually outweigh the costs. The project would also come with another unexpected benefit: Soil obviously absorbs rainwater much better than tarmac, so transforming the road into a park would offer some much-needed relief to the city’s overburdened drainage system. 

[h/t: Dezeen]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Stones, Bones, and Wrecks
Buckingham Palace Was Built With Jurassic Fossils, Scientists Find
iStock
iStock

The UK's Buckingham Palace is a vestige from another era, and not just because it was built in the early 18th century. According to a new study, the limestone used to construct it is filled with the fossilized remains of microbes from the Jurassic period of 200 million years ago, as The Telegraph reports.

The palace is made of oolitic limestone, which consists of individual balls of carbonate sediment called ooids. The material is strong but lightweight, and is found worldwide. Jurassic oolite has been used to construct numerous famous buildings, from those in the British city of Bath to the Empire State Building and the Pentagon.

A new study from Australian National University published in Scientific Reports found that the spherical ooids in Buckingham Palace's walls are made up of layers and layers of mineralized microbes. Inspired by a mathematical model from the 1970s for predicting the growth of brain tumors, the researchers created a model that explains how ooids are created and predicts the factors that limit their ultimate size.

A hand holding a chunk of oolite limestone
Australian National University

They found that the mineralization of the microbes forms the central core of the ooid, and the layers of sediment that gather around that core feed those microbes until the nutrients can no longer reach the core from the outermost layer.

This contrasts with previous research on how ooids form, which hypothesized that they are the result of sediment gathered from rolling on the ocean floor. It also reshapes how we think about the buildings made out of oolitic limestone from this period. Next time you look up at the Empire State Building or Buckingham Palace, thank the ancient microbes.

[h/t The Telegraph]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
arrow
architecture
5 Scrapped Designs for the World's Most Famous Buildings
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
Ker Robertson, Getty Images

When an architect gets commissioned to build a skyscraper or a memorial, they’re usually not the only applicant for the job. Other teams of designers submit their own ideas for how it should look, too, but these are eventually passed over in favor of the final design. This is the case for some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks—in an alternate world, the Arc de Triomphe might have been a three-story-tall elephant statue, and the Lincoln Memorial a step pyramid.

GoCompare, a comparison site for financial services, dug into these could-have-been designs for Alternate Architecture, an illustrated collection of scrapped designs for some of the most famous structures in the world, from Chicago's Tribune Tower to the Sydney Opera House.

Click through the interactive graphic below to explore rejected designs for all five landmarks.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios