It’s the bike path, not the High Line, inspiring cool buildings.

I know it’s only symbolic—the architectural rendering equivalent of seeing a face of every hue in a public health brochure—but there are bikes in virtually every render of BIG’s W57 project in New York. Understandable, given this project is just 6 noisy car lanes removed from the best used bike path in North America, according to Transportation Alternatives. A pitiful 0.5% of all trips in New York are by bike, but when a big share of those are funneled into one narrow safe haven, the result is a bicycling torrent. And it is the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, more than any other amenity, even more than The Larry Flynt Hustler Club, that is shifting Manhattan’s focus from Broadway, and onto 12th Avenue.

Now here is a self portrait by the vain architect, boasting how he stays in a hotel I can only afford to sneak into (take the mind altering lift ride to the bar, and don’t buy a drink).

Poor Bjarke, he has swallowed the myth, that New York’s High Line project is the main catalyst for Manhattan’s reorientation. Quotidianly, it is new residents’ quick access to the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway for bicycle transport, that wins them time in their day to even use that facility. It is the bike path, not the High Line (where bikes aren’t permitted) triggering developments like W57.

About Steven

I'm on a mission to put cycling on the agendas of architects, urban designers and fellow academics, who see the potential for bicycles to change cities and buildings. My PhD is in architectural history and my interdisciplinary research spans art theory, philosophy and cultural studies. I teach architectural history and theory and design studio at The University of Tasmania, Australia, and formerly worked as an architect designing large public housing projects in Singapore. My favourite bikes are a titanium racing bike I use for racing, a Velorbis retro commuter for riding to cafes and work, a single speed ultra light Brompton that I take with me when I travel on planes, a 29er hard tail mountain bike that I get lost on in remote places, an old track bike that scares me, a 1984 Colnago Super with all original campagnolo components that is plugged into a virtual realm that I train in, and a Dutch-made Bakfiets, that could easily replace half of the bikes I just mentioned.
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