NYC DOT and Design Trust in collaboration with Rockrose, launched the Long Island City El-Space Pilot, which features a set of gabion planters to capture and filter stormwater runoff from the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, and a modular illuminated "El-Fence".

Photo by NYC Department of Transportation

The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Design Trust for Public Space, in collaboration with Rockrose, partnered to host a conversation to "Discover El-Space 2.0" as part of NYCxDesign, New York City’s 7th annual celebration of design.

The Discover El-Space 2.0 event featured the unveiling of the Long Island City El-Space Pilot installation and the preview of the El-Space Toolkit.

After a social meet-and-greet to see the new Long Island City pilot installation, Susan Chin, FAIA, Hon. ASLA, Executive Director of Design Trust for Public Space and Nick Pettinati, RLA, ASLA, Deputy Director of Urban Design, NYC DOT, discussed the creation of the El-Space pilot installations and the future of the El-Space initiative at NYC DOT. Audience members followed up with questions about community engagement.

The event also showcased two other pilots' installations in a gallery walk:

Rockrose graciously hosted the event in their Eagle Street Loft building and provided refreshments from Dutch Kills Bar, a local establishment. Attendees also enjoyed discounted ice-cream by local pop-up, Ice and Vice


Under the Elevated/El-Space, a two-phase project of Design Trust for Public Space, in partnership with NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), is the first major research, design, and planning initiative to document and analyze the vast network of space beneath New York City’s elevated transportation structure — or “el-space”, and to make recommendations for their improvement as a public asset. Design Trust and NYCDOT are now piloting the project recommendations. In addition to the Sunset Park pilot launched in May 2018 in collaboration with Industry City, Design Trust and NYC DOT are partnering to implement two additional sites – Rockaway Freeway and Dutch Kills Street, in collaboration with the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance and Rockrose respectively.

NYC DOT continues developing the El-Space Program that considers el-space as an urban system for managing land and built assets, improving pedestrian mobility and safety, fostering environmental health, and linking neighborhoods to jobs and amenities. With the Design Trust, NYCDOT will also release the El-Space Toolkit (date to be announced), a resource for public agencies, elected officials, community groups, private stakeholders and practitioners—in New York City and elsewhere—to effectively execute El-Space projects that address complex urban challenges for the benefit of all people. 

Visit NYC DOT's El-Space page for more information.


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NYC DOT and Design Trust in collaboration with Rockrose, launched the Long Island City El-Space Pilot, which tests methods of capturing, slowing, and directing stormwater from the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, beautifies the streetscape through plantings and colorful fencing with integrated lighting.