AAP NYC Fall 2019 Urban Design Semester: Student Design Plans

People standing inside a fixture shaped like a smart phone with the NYC skyline in the background

Students and faculty at AAP NYC during the fall 2019 semester pose in front of the New York City skyline.

During the fall 2019 AAP NYC Urban Design Semester students explored a broad variety of topics ranging from environmental justice and transportation networks to graphic communication and model-making all across the five boroughs of New York City. Graduate students from CRP and landscape architecture and undergraduate seniors in urban and regional studies worked in interdisciplinary teams in a semester-long Urban Planning Workshop (CRP 5172) and an Integrated Urbanism Studio (CRP 5173). In addition, they explored various career perspectives with Cornell alumni in the Professional Practice Colloquium (CRP 5174). The course also included the MAS Summit, a one-day forum organized by the Municipal Art Society, and held at the New York Academy of Medicine, featuring presentations by many of the city's most important civic and governmental leaders, as well as leading designers, urban planners, and landscape architects. Under the 2019 theme, Fight for Light, the summit explored the economic, environmental, social, and public health impacts of light and air in urban neighborhoods.

This exhibit features students' final design plans for the semester, completed in tandem with the courses below.

The Urban Planning Workshop (CRP 5172), led by AAP NYC Executive Director Robert Balder and visiting lecturer Hobum Moon, allowed student teams to work directly with real clients in New York City, tackling current projects and problems that the city faces. An array of prospective clients submitted proposals during the summer of 2019, and students selected the projects in which they were most interested within the first two weeks of the semester. The final clients included the NYC Mayor's Office of Resilience, the NYC Economic Development Corporation, the Hudson River Foundation, and the Plus Pool. Throughout the semester student teams met with their clients, conducted background research, and completed site visits and site analysis before presenting their work to their clients at the end of the semester and producing an accompanying summary report.

This year's Integrated Urbanism Studio CRP 5173) featured three visiting critics: Adam Lubinsky, Eugenia Di Girolamo, and Jacob Dugopolski. The studio explored the Port Morris neighborhood in South Bronx from the perspective of different user groups (policy-makers, business owners, industry workers, and local artists). This led student teams to identify differing pertinent problems, and, in turn, propose a range of urban design interventions for the neighborhood.

The Professional Practice Colloquium (CRP 5174) examines the critical work of selected Cornell alumni, specifically from CRP and CALS. The colloquium explores the career development of both urban planners and landscape architects, and in some cases, highlights transitions to other professions such as attorneys, educators, advocates, real estate developers, and organizational consultants. While the current work of these professionals is featured, each visiting presenter reveals the inner dynamics of how they developed their career and the important influences that shaped their perspective on professional practice. The colloquium series provides a unique opportunity to examine issues that will inform and guide critical decisions that students will make in the year ahead.

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