Photo: © Krisanne Johnson for the Design Trust for Public Space. Life Along the Elevated

Join the Design Trust and NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) for a special tour of our Under the Elevated/El-Space pilot installation below the Gowanus Expressway at 36th Street and 3rd Avenue and a multi-city panel conversation, at Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, on May 17, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. And earn AIA credits!

Design Trust Fellows, NYC DOT staff, and collaborator Industry City will preview the El-Space pilot installation in Sunset Park featuring a brighter and safer ‘el-space’ with new systems for green infrastructure, better lighting, and improved pedestrian experience and parking, underneath elevated highways, rail lines, and bridges — or 'el-space'. After this tour, leading practitioners and city representatives from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, New York, Oakland, and Toronto will highlight their innovative projects to reclaim and regenerate 'el-spaces' in their cities.

Onsite Preview of the El-Space Pilot Installation

From 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm, Thursday May 17, 2018
Below the Gowanus Expressway at 36th Street and 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn

NYC DOT Assistant Commissioner Wendy Feuer and Director of Urban Design Neil Gagliardi, Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball, alongside Design Trust's El-Space Fellows landscape architect Tricia Martin, urban designer Quilian Riano, and lighting designer Leni Schwendinger will walkthrough the new design elements for sustainability and pedestrian safety, including low light plantings to clean the air and capture storm water from the highway above, lighting fixtures to provide better and artistic illumination for people at the intersection, and an alternative walkway beneath the Gowanus Expressway. This pilot will inform potential capital projects in the over 70 million square feet of space that exists underneath New York City's elevated transportation infrastructure citywide.

Panel Conversation

From 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Thursday May 17, 2018
Industry City, 274 36th Street (between 3rd and 2nd Avenues), Brooklyn

Moderated by Susan Chin, FAIA, Hon. ASLA, Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space

  • Dan Adams, Founding Principal of Landing Studio design firm, representing the InfraSpace program, Boston, MA 
  • Meg Daly, Founder and President of The Underline, Miami, FL
  • Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes, Strategic Neighborhood Development Director of New Orleans Business Alliance, New Orleans, LA
  • Vivian Garcia, Manager of The 606 at the Chicago Park District, Chicago, IL
  • Neil Gagliardi, Director of Urban Design, NYC Department of Transportation, representing the El-Space Program, New York, NY
  • Walter Hood, Founder and Creative Director of Hood Studio design firm, representing Splashpad Park, Oakland, CA; and Viaduct Rail Park, Philadelphia, PA
  • Stacy Patton, Real Estate and Asset Management Director of the Atlanta BeltLine, Atlanta, GA
  • Nyree Ramsey, Cultural Innovation District Director of the Foundation for Louisiana/Ujamaa Economic Development Corporation, Baton Rouge, LA 
  • Adam Nicklin and Marc Ryan, Co-Founders and Principals of PUBLIC WORK design firm, representing The Bentway, Toronto, Canada
  • Caroline O'Boyle, Director of Partnerships and Programs for The 606 at The Trust for Public Land, Chicago, IL
  • Roberto Remes Tello de Meneses, General Coordinator of the Public Space Authority of Mexico City, representing the Bajo Puentes program, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Deborah Weintraub, Chief Deputy City Engineer of the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, representing the Sixth Street Viaduct project, Los Angeles, CA

Under the Elevated/El-Space, a two-phase project of Design Trust for Public Space, in partnership with NYC DOT, is the first major research, design, and planning initiative to document and analyze the vast network of space beneath New York City’s elevated transportation structure, and to make recommendations for their improvement as a public asset. Design Trust and DOT are now piloting the project recommendations to improve lighting, pedestrian circulation, vehicular operations, infrastructure sustainability and environmental management at these sites throughout the city, and developing a toolkit to advance more sustainable, healthier, and safer ‘el-spaces’ in New York City and urban areas across North America.

Discover El-Space is presented as part of NYCxDESIGN 2018, New York City's annual celebration of design. The sixth edition of the program will include hundreds of events throughout the five boroughs from May 11-23, 2018.

1.5 AIA LU credits
Learning objectives:

  • Participants will understand how the design and activation of 'el-space' reconnects communities and reconsiders urban systems for greater social and environmental impact.
  • Attendees will discover how to view aging transportation infrastructure differently, as an opportunity for multi-use, high performance design.
  • Participants will learn how to advance 'el-space' initiatives through cross sector partnerships.
  • Attendees will be able to identify effective inclusive tactics for engaging communities on the role public space amenities and infrastructure improvements play in equitable development.

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Date and Time

Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 6:30 – 8:30 PM


Industry City


  • 220 36th Street
    Brooklyn, NY 11232