(images via Participatory Urbanism Crown Heights)
Local architect Manuel Avila Ochoa has a great idea, and he wants your input. His project, Participatory Urbanism Crown Heights, "takes a landscape urbanism approach to rethink residual spaces adjacent spaces to the Franklin Avenue shuttle train towards a new public space network. The project is founded on the idea of creating a common ground for residents, business owners, governmental entities and local community organizations for a more plural public spaces in the context of a diverse emergent community in the Crow Hill/Crown Heights neighborhood." Perhaps most exciting is that community input, in the form of web-based participation, is built into the project. To register your thoughts and suggest ways to design the spaces outlined above, follow this link.
While this project, supported in part by Superfront, is purely exploratory and creative at the moment, it suggests some fabulous potential uses for the area's liminal zones. NostrandPark, who reported on this project last week, asked whether we need more public space in Crown Heights (they're in favor). I'm of the opinion that we could always use a little more breathing room in NYC, and I particularly like the idea of repurposing the spaces near the shuttle for pedestrians. If you've got an opinion, make it heard at participatoryurbanism.blogspot.com.