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New streetscape encourages NYers to gather again

A new streetscape designed to get New Yorkers back outside has opened in Hudson Square.

Hudson Square Properties, a joint venture between Trinity Church Wall Street, Norges Bank Investment Group and Hines partnered with the Urban Design Forum and the Hudson Square BID to create Restorative Ground, am installation as part of its “Care for Hudson Square” competition.

A call for entries in mid-2020 sought submissions from New York’s design community to create a dynamic and multi-faceted platform for public interaction and gathering. The winning submission from WIP Collaborative is poised to reactivate an underutilized street culminating in a completely reimagined streetscape for New Yorkers to gather, and once again, to celebrate the vibrancy of New York City.

The temporary installation will eventually be donated to another streetscape in New York to create a similar outdoor experience.

Representatives from the Hudson Square BID, Urban Design Forum and feminist architecture collective WIP Collaborative joined Tommy Craig of Hines in celebrating the opening of the Restorative Ground streetscape in Hudson Square.

“CB2 looks forward to our neighbors enjoying Restorative Ground’s enhancement of our public space and the many passive and recreational benefits it will bring to our community,” said Shirley Secunda, Community Board No. 2 chairperson.

Corey Johnson, Speaker, New York City Council, Representing the 3rd Council District added, “New Yorkers have relied on their open spaces more than ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. I am grateful for this collaborative effort in Hudson Square and look forward to more projects like this so New Yorkers can safely enjoy public space together.”

Located on King Street between Hudson and Greenwich streets, Restorative Ground is a place for residents, office tenants, and the broader public to come together around a range of activities.

The installation itself straddles the parking lane and part of the sidewalk, aligning with King Street’s participation in the Open Streets Program. Using colorful and durable materials, like recycled rubber and AstroTurf, the installation features modular sections for lounging, gathering, and playing.

“As New York City emerges from the pandemic, we should reimagine our city streets as safe spaces to gather and heal,” said Daniel McPhee, Executive Director of the Urban Design Forum. “WIP Collaborative’s design aims to welcome every kind of New Yorker and create space for recreation and respite at a time when we need it most.”

Tommy Craig, Senior Managing Director of Hines, Hudson Square Properties’ joint venture partner, added, “At the end of the day, Restorative Ground is a foreshadowing of what’s to come as we endeavor to implement more aspirational plans for permanent improvements on King Street.”

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