Urban Omnibus Meet-up
Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center
Laura MacNeil and Michael Porto
1.5 AIA CEUs
The first phase of construction of the MTA’s new Second Avenue Subway has been an enormous undertaking. The MTA is currently excavating 2.8 miles of new tracks and building three new subway stations as it finally realizes an almost century-old vision for a new subway line on Manhattan’s East Side, one of the densest residential neighborhoods in the country. The challenge of communicating the scale of a project hidden hundreds of feet underground is enormous. How do you keep public information flowing and engage the residents most affected in the face of construction, street closures, delays, and inquiries into the project’s massive budget? How do you explain to residents why their street is closed while simultaneously inspiring a sense of curiosity and wonder at the scale and intricacy of the project and its engineering, history, and impact on the future of transit in Manhattan?
This summer, the MTA opened the Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center, a new space that serves as a nexus of communication and engagement, providing a location for residents from the neighborhood and around the city to learn more, ask questions, and air grievances about the project through events, exhibits, and displays. On November 20th, join us for an informal meet-up with Second Avenue Subway Information Center Director Laura MacNeil and Michael Porto of the MTA’s Good Neighbor Initiative. Starting at the storefront and then moving outside to check out some of the project’s construction, we’ll look at how they use interactive technologies, public assembly, and direct engagement to move beyond traditional “community engagement” tools to serve as the public face and voice for this immense project. So bundle up and come check out how the MTA is giving people a chance to learn more about one of New York’s largest and most complex transit projects.
Images courtesy of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
Urban Omnibus is the Architectural League’s online publication dedicated to defining and enriching the culture of citymaking. Visit urbanomnibus.net to read weekly features and forum posts that explore projects and perspectives in architecture, art, policy and activism – tried and tested in New York City – that offer new ways of understanding, representing and improving urban life and landscape worldwide.
1628 Second Avenue (between 84th and 85th Streets)
RSVP by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, November 19th.