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August 1, 2015

STEAM Represents DDC at Summer Streets

DDC Steam staff at Summer Streets.

The Department of Design and Construction STEAM Initiatives Division and the Percent for Art Division participated in the annual Summer Streets festival in Lower Manhattan. Summer Streets, organized by the NYC Department of Transportation, is an annual celebration of New York City's most valuable public space — our streets. Summer Streets provides space for healthy recreation and encourages New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation. Various city agencies and community organizations provided family-friendly activities including artistic performances, interactive lessons, art & sculpture-making, fitness classes, outdoor dining, and physical activities. More than 300,000 people took advantage of the open streets this summer.

DDC staff members from the Public Arts Division, Coastal Resiliency Unit, and Office of Community Outreach and Notification organized creative arts activities and informed the community about the many coastal resiliency upgrades that the city will be constructing. This initiative is known as the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR Project). In April 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the implementation of One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just New City (OneNYC). Originally released in 2007 under the name PlaNYC, OneNYC is a groundbreaking effort to address New York City’s long-term challenges: the forecast of 9 million residents by 2040, changing climate conditions, an evolving economy, and aging infrastructure.

OneNYC contains four visions for New York City: Growth, Equity, Sustainability and Resiliency. A section of that plan envisions an integrated, neighborhood-sensitive, flood protection system able to mitigate flood risk and enhance open spaces, while introducing better connections to the waterfront with improved public amenities. HUD awarded $335 million to NYC to implement the segment of that proposal that extends from Montgomery Street to East 23rd street. The proposed concept includes an earthen berm in East River Park, enhanced pedestrian bridges over the FDR Drive, and permanent and deployable floodwalls north of East 14th street. Community members visiting the DDC table were able to design their own Resiliency Project open park space, as well as draw various native New York plants that are resilient during natural disasters. The resulting artwork by Summer Streets participants will be temporarily displayed at the DDC's Astor Place construction site.