It looks like the Columbia University Urban Design Studio had such a great experience in Newburgh last Fall, they are coming back again in 2015! This semester they will be studying the regional relationships between Newburgh, Beacon and New York City. The similarities and contrasts of the sisters cities leads to a worthy discussion of Newburgh and Beacon’s development, and perhaps collaboration in the future.
According to the syllabus:
The histories and current state of Newburgh and Beacon reveal the Hudson River Valley as a place of great promise and innovation as well as a place of tension and disinvestment. Each city is defined by multiple and overlapping narratives and together they reveal the complex environmental, economic, technological and cultural territories that define the Valley. These narratives have changed over time, shaping settlement patterns, driving the transformations of the natural environment for occupation and exploitation, altering the movement patterns of people and goods and manipulating the exchange and intensity of commerce and culture…
Today new pioneers are again finding their way up the Hudson River, looking for places of opportunity: access to resources, the promise for growth and a higher quality of life at lower-cost. At the same time, people who have lived in the Valley and its cities for generations and those who live there by necessity rather than choice, are also striving to make their cities better places to live and work and to capitalize on their regional contexts…
The Fall 2015 UD Studio will examine not only what can be done but how any actions might be undertaken, with what tools and methods. This entails work at many scales and with many actors and, to the extent that the Hudson River Valley is part of a global system as much as a local system, the studio research will necessarily challenge the language and assumptions of urban design as a practice.
Last year many Newburgh residents thoroughly enjoyed the site visits and student installations. This year they will be in Newburgh and Beacon October 2 for a site visit and October 17 for a site installation. For a glimpse of the final outcome, check out last years final presentations.
I am sure Professor Moore and his students are going to be pleasantly surprised at some of the changes that have materialized since the last Design Studio class spent time here! It’s great to have them back. In fact, the lot on which this photo was taken is now owned by Safe Harbors of the Hudson. In a short time, it will evolve into an urban green space that will add to the physical, social and emotional health of of downtown Newburgh. I am sure it will help renew a sense of pride and positive community identity and good things will continue to grow there!