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Building Bridges not Walls

As aligned with the studio’s exploration on crisis to speculate future environments, our project’s primary focus is on the remediation of flushing creek as well as food distribution in the area with secondary and tertiary spaces such as recreation, education, and research among others as both complementary spaces to the system as well as to the existing community. The genesis of the project was inspired by the ongoing gentrification patterns within immigrant, black and brown communities in flushing and corona as well as the city at large. We sought to counter the trend by proposing spaces complementary to the community and upon our site visits, we discovered the most urgent need was the purification of flushing creek due to the pollution caused by the neighboring industries. We conceived a device that employs phragmites, which was the predominant plant species along the creek and its invasive nature to absorb toxic elements, for remediation and opened up the creek to public access due to its inaccessibility to the community, empowering them with surveillance over the creek as well as recreational spaces. In light of this the Northern Boulevard Bridge was the most centralized location to conceive the device allowing us to connect the system to the creek and the community, providing us with the ability to complement secondary spaces such as food distribution which was an urgent need in the area since the pandemic. The device also employs tertiary spaces such as education and research for purification of the river, performance spaces due to dance activities within the neighborhood, temporary housing for the anticipated staff in the education and research department, senior citizens, and the unsheltered among others.