Community Planing |
Parsons The New School of Design
Rockaways, Queens. NY
Michael Kramer | Isabel Saffon
Jamaking builds upon the strength and social resiliency of community members -in the Rockaways- to rehabilitate neglected areas into vibrant public spaces.
The Rockaways peninsula has an enormous ecological value. The bay, is an estuary where fresh water meets the ocean, hosting a very unique ecosystem. However, policies of historical racism have neglected this area limiting the access of residents to good public services.
Jamiking explores a strategy of community engagement able to empower residents to restore their connection to the estuary and promote active citizenship as the source for resiliency.
Through a series of initiatives that educate people about their environment, this project invites residents to envision the future of public spaces that reflect their needs and aspirations.
Some examples include postcards sent to residents asking them take nature walks or spot bird species, field trips around the bay led by local environmental organizations and schools, and workshops and skill-sharing to design interventions.
Based on the outreach, education and workshop activities, Rockaway residents would come together to develop interventions that promote spaces of connection and greater ecological health.
This might take a variety of forms, however, we have envisioned a number possible outcomes.
For example, one intervention could be a series of modular docks that are planted as marshlands and in the winter, when they become muddy surfaces, are covered by wooden facades and become spaces to relax.
Another initiative might be a bridge that extends into the bay and leads people on a path to activities like swimming and fishing. The structure would be movable, turning into an enclosed ice rink during colder months. There might also be temporary structures to host local entrepreneurs selling goods and streams that infiltrate the neighborhood streets, addressing flooding problems, and acting as places for community gardening.