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April 24, 2017

DDC Presents Artists and City Workshop at Car Free Earth Day 2017 Celebration

Shavone Williams

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.”

Artist Nobouho Nagasawa talks with DDC staff and onlookers about the importance of nature and public art
Artist Nobouho Nagasawa talks with DDC staff and onlookers about the importance of nature and public art

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

  • Nobuho Nagasawa (Artist)
  • Ashwini Karanth and Salman Javed (DDC Green Infrastructure Unit)


Topic #2: Urban commons, foraging and placemaking

  • Petia Morozov (Artist)
  • Michael Balagur, LEED AP, CEM, CPHD (DDC Office of Sustainable Design)


Topic #3: Labor and energy efficient buildings

  • Barrie Cline (Artist)
  • Kristina Blazevski-Charpentier and Garry Huggins (DDC OneNYC)


Topic #4: The relationships of urban inhabitants with nature

  • David Brooks (Artist)
  • Margaret Castillo, FAIA, LEED AP (DDC Chief Architect)


Topic #5: Bioremediation and sustainable strategies

  • Jan Mun (Artist)
  • Roxanne Ryce Paul, LEED AP CPHD (DDC Office of Sustainable Design)


Topic #6: The ecology of urban street

  • Howard Chambers (Artist)
  • Kiumars Amiri, LEED AP ND (DDC Office of Sustainable Design)


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.”  

DDC’s STEAM at care free nyc
DDC’s STEAM at care free nyc
DDC’s STEAM division provided games, free giveaways and information to passersby about their upcoming events and fun facts related to science, technology, engineering, architecture, art, and mathematics

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