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Alexandra Lange

Times Op-Ed: Hole Earth Catalog


On the New York Times Op-Ed page today, my suggestion for an adopt-a-pothole program for New York City. If we are teaching our children about botony in the schoolyards, why not teach them about the ecology of the urban environment?

Urban ecology is very topical, what with the opening of the MoMA exhibition Rising Currents tomorrow (I wrote about it here). Among the five fascinating proposals is one by ARO and dlandstudio to replace the asphalt of Lower Manhattan, block by block, with permeable pavements that would absorb rainwater and storm surges, rather than redirecting both to the overtaxed sewers. Planted swales along the sides of the streets would replace parking spots with native, absorptive plants. A side benefit would be no more potholes: these streets would breathe, thus ending the freeze-thaw cycle that results in pocked pavement.

If you are just joining me as a result of the op-ed, you might be interested in some of my previous posts on New York City and public works: Governors Island, Brooklyn Bridge Park (opening today!) and Atlantic Yards.



Posted in: Education , Urbanism

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Alexandra Lange Alexandra Lange is an architecture and design critic, and author of Writing about Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities. (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012). Her work has appeared in The Architect’s Newspaper, Architectural Record, Dwell, Metropolis, Print, New York Magazine and The New York Times.

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