April 5, 2016
Through a series of intensive workshops, this project quickly explored a range of possible improvements to the streets, sidewalks, and public spaces in Times Square to make the "crossroads of the world" more pedestrian-friendly. The workshop findings were synthesized into a pedestrian-mobility plan that guided Times Square's recent transformation.
Our pedestrian-mobility plan highlighted the necessary methods to address the chaotic, congested and unappealing condition of New York City’s most dynamic public space and enhance Times Square as a creative, thriving and engaging urban center.
In response to our publication, Times Square has undergone a substantial physical transformation in the past decade. With innovative pedestrian spaces, renovated historic public plazas, rearranged traffic flow, aesthetically pleasing street furniture and a platform for creative displays of public art, residents and visitors alike can now experience Times Square as a quality public space.
Times Square is a revived cultural and tourist center and a prominent address for corporate headquarters. However, its streets and sidewalks are congested, poorly designed, and visually unappealing. The Times Square Alliance, the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), and the NYC Department of City Planning have worked together and separately since 1998 to alleviate these problems with significant but limited success.
In Spring 2003, we partnered with the Times Square Alliance on a series of workshops focused on innovative approaches to solving Times Square’s pedestrian problems. The workshops, facilitated by Kinshasha Holman Conwill, convened 25 noted designers, urbanists, artists, traffic planners, and the DOT.
Subsequently, the Design Trust awarded a fellowship to Michael Fishman, the Vice President of Urban Design at Sam Schwartz Company, to continue working with the Alliance. Over a three-month period, Mr. Fishman helped to interpret the workshop findings and facilitate contact with the DOT, resulting in the pedestrian mobility plan entitled, “Problems & Possibilities: Re-Imagining the Pedestrian Environment in Times Square."