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Five Hills Greenway New York, U.S.A. 2013


A lane about 2km long is the functional infrastructure to an alternative path, a long greenway running along the river parallel to the island of Manhattan, like a hinge closing the gap between the 34th Street  and the 60th Street .

The greenway runs the length of 33 blocks, with 20 platforms on the water along the way, open spaces in alternative to the city streets, away from the noise, where one can rediscover the pleasure of sociality or that of silence. 

Seven entrances to three pre-existing pedestrian areas provide access to the greenway dedicated exclusively to pedestrians, cyclists, and other forms of alternative transportation.

The five hills (standing for the five boroughs of New York City), each the size of a city block, counterpoints to the island of Manhattan as a reflection of its modernity and a reminder of its nature. 

Entirely covered by large trees, they evoke the image that appeared to Henry Hudson in 1609 when for the first time he saw Mannahatta, "the island of many hills," as the natives living there called it.

Coming out of the FDR station onto 37th Street, heading towards the Queensboro Bridge, visitors can enter a world apart but secure, detached from the city yet full of life, a path devoted entirely to alternative mobilityimmersed in the extreme naturalness of the hills and at the same time marked by great gardens, paths, and areas dedicated to sport, play, and socializing.

Through a careful selection of indigenous trees, juxtaposing those present historically with those present today, the project aims to create a natural habitat, an ecological corridor for animal and plant species and an unspoiled environment for those who pass through it.

Trees are an essential factor for environmental sustainability in every major city: forests in the city improve air and water quality, mitigate climate change, improve neighborhoods, reduce energy costs, lower summer temperatures, preserve wildlife habitats, and increase biodiversity.

New York City's urban forest totals over 5 million trees and 168 species. The people of New York consider green spaces and trees as essential components of their city.

The project closes on 60th street with a contrasting gesture: a tropical greenhouse under the East River Pavilion sculpture, overlooking the water like a bubble floating through space, alien to its context, protected in its casing.

It is a tribute to the knowledge and respect for biodiversity.

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