New Yorks City’s iconic Union Square is to receive a major makeover which will see the area transformed into a pedestrian-friendly, car-free zone, in a new $100 million project.
According to Time Out, Union Square Partnership has teamed up with Marvel architecture firm for the new project and there are several significant changes planned for the bustling, congested square.
1. A total transformation
Time Out reported that certain streets will be closed to traffic, whilst the park will be extended to nearby buildings, increasing public, pedestrian space by 33 percent and creating a “town square” feeling with more space for people to walk and more seating available.
Public transport will still be available along 14th street, which at the moment is a busway around the park, with a bigger subway entrance at 16th street. The space will also be made greener, with new plants and trees to make a nicer environment and provide space for pedestrians, cyclists, and surrounding vendors to enjoy in a more spread out space than the current crowded square.
The plan also includes upgrading infrastructure to make the square more people-friendly, including upgraded public toilets, bike parking, improved wheelchair access, a renovated dog run, better lighting and drainage, and more.
2. Enthusiasm for the project
Danny Meyer, the founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, told Time Out, “After a year in which so many in our community have been isolated and forced to be socially distanced, it’s refreshing to re-imagine a once again thriving Union Square made more commodious with additional public space carved out for people to be with people. We crave and need that.”
Councilwoman Carlina Rivera also showed support for the plan, telling Time Out, “As we’ve seen from the success of the 14th Street Busway, prioritising streetscape and open space for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transportation, can have a unique and positive effect for nearby businesses, residents, and our City as a whole.”
A timeline and completion date for the project has not yet been confirmed, however the planned transformation of Union Square is sure to not only make it a better place for New Yorkers and visitors alike, but also help in making the city more environmentally friendly and a healthier place to be.