April 24, 2017
New York, NY – The New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) joined the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) for its 2nd annual Car Free NYC: Earth Day celebration, an event designed to promote environmentally friendly transit options. Several demonstrations of environmentally friendly technology, plus performances, games, workshops, and tours, took place on Broadway, which was closed to traffic from Union Square to Times Square.
Throughout the day, employees from DDC’s Office of the Chief Architect and the STEAM education division discussed with passersby the importance of improving resiliency and sustainability in the City at a DDC-sponsored booth at Broadway and 26th Street.
“Participating in this year’s Car Free NYC event was a great opportunity to foster spontaneous interactions with our neighbors about the importance of reducing emissions to combat climate change,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “Our demonstrations helped us get closer to the community to showcase the work we are putting into practice, such as applying our Guiding Principles pertaining to equity and sustainability to the City’s public projects.”
Mary Miss, DDC’s Public Artist in Residence, led a half dozen hourly public discussions with six artists and eight DDC experts in engineering, architecture, resiliency, and sustainability. The six public conversations addressed how to connect and engage citizens to broader issues of urbanism.
Topic #1: Nature and site-specific public art
Topic #2: Urban commons, foraging and placemaking
Topic #3: Labor and energy efficient buildings
Topic #4: The relationships of urban inhabitants with nature
Topic #5: Bioremediation and sustainable strategies
Topic #6: The ecology of urban street
DDC STEAM Initiatives spoke to families about the agency’s goal of establishing a diverse and inclusive pipeline into fields such as Architecture, Engineering, and Construction for the city’s youth. STEAM team members distributed information about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture, and Mathematics) education and spoke to parents about how they could help prepare their children for futures in those fields. Children were also able to participate in the DDC’s “Wheel of STEAM”, where children answered questions related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture/Art, and Mathematics in order to win DDC kids buttons.
Deputy Commissioner Lee Llambelis, stated, “As a Native American proverb noted, we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it for our children and it is our responsibility to protect the earth and help to make our earth a better place. For DDC, that means designing buildings and infrastructure that advance design in NYC through the lenses of equity, sustainability, resiliency and healthy living.”
About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.