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Center for Architecture in New York and Amsterdam's ARCAM Collaborate on Sustainable Cities Exhibition
Valley of the Valleys (Low Lands) Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam by Barcode Architects.

NEW YORK, NY.- On the heels of the unveiling of New York City’s Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, the Center for Architecture and ARCAM present an international collaboration and exhibition: Glimpses of New York and Amsterdam in 2040. The exhibition challenges ten architecture, landscape architecture and design firms to imagine an urban future that includes new waterside cityscapes, neighborhoods, and transit systems. The exhibition opened in New York at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, and remains on view until September 10. The show will also be installed in Amsterdam, on view at the Amsterdam Centre for Architecture (ARCAM), June 17 until August 13.

Both New York and Amsterdam have extensive waterfronts, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a long tradition of international collaboration and cultural diversity. The twenty-first century requires both cities to address new challenges: shifting demographics, changes in climate, energy transitions and evolving global economic patterns. With these changes, each city will have to consider the relationship between recreational and working waterfronts; the ecology, remediation and preservation of natural habitat; the control of rising water levels; the preservation and reuse of industrial infrastructure; and the role of transport in better connecting cities. These pressing questions are the foundation of the design exchange between the Amsterdam Centre for Architecture (ARCAM) and the Center for Architecture in New York. This exhibition is the most recent in a long history of collaboration between Dutch and US partners in addressing urban water issues, and how we “live with water.” With a quarter of its landmass under sea level, the Netherlands has developed an internationally renowned strategy for water management, which they have shared with US communities from the Bay Area to the Louisiana Bayou.

Glimpses of the future can already be seen in our cities -- in emerging green industries, in local networks for energy production and in innovative forms of transportation. By presenting glimpses of New York and Amsterdam’s sustainable future, the exhibition will provide a platform for dialogue concerning critical planning and will explore how energy initiatives, economic incentives and educational programs can provide the means for current activities to grow and impact the future of our cities.

“As City Planning Chair Amanda Burden said a few weeks ago, the water is our city’s 6th borough,” explained AIANY President Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP. “I hope these glimpses of 2040, and the progress already being made, will inspire people to work incrementally towards a sustainable future for our city, and introduce innovative, scalable ideas that will work in other places, like Amsterdam, but also in all manner of waterfront cities around the globe. Change on our waterfronts and in our cities is inevitable – and imperative. Let good design lead the way.”

The exhibition has been divided into five “glimpses,” based on necessities of 21st century urban life. The role of recreation (a section dubbed “Breathing”), food production (“Eating”), economic production (“Making”), transportation (“Moving”), and living spaces (“Dwelling”) are explored in the contexts of both New York and Amsterdam. Within New York, firms focused their attention on recreation on the Hudson River, expanding the food network of Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, commerce and development at the Bush Terminal in Brooklyn, Long Island City and Hunters Point, and the residential development of Newark, NJ. In Amsterdam, designers focused on the development of the northern and southern IJ-waterfronts, examples of local food production in Amsterdam, the Public Library as a center for knowledge developing into a ‘public domain work space,’ South Axis Business District as a mobility hub with the first electric cars, and the Andreas ensemble as a high-density housing estate within the city.

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