A consortium consisting of the Municipal Art Society, the New York City Department of City Planning and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs is seeking support from the NEA, under its Access category, to launch 20th Century Landfill/21st Century Park, a public outreach and education project aimed at building a constituency for a major international design competition to find visionary, but feasible projects for reuse of the nearly 3,000-acre Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island.
Staten Island has an extraordinary opportunity to transform its most controversial land-use project into a recreational and scenic amenity for the entire Tri-State region. Once redeveloped, Fresh Kills stands to serve not only the 50,000 residents living within a mile radius of its borders, but communities all over Staten Island, New York City and New Jersey. The design competition, which will be a collaboration between the consortium, the New York City Department of Sanitation and Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari and is expected to be launched in late Spring 2000, will engage the finest art, design, planning, ecology and engineering professionals to prepare a conceptual master plan for the former landfill.
The success of the final plan for reuse of the landfill will be guaranteed only if we engage in the planning process all those with a stake in Fresh Kills' future. This is, thus, the goal of the public outreach and education program which we are asking the NEA to support.
Specifically, the consortium will use NEA and matching funds to: 1) hire a graphic designer who will create a strong visual identity for the public programs and subsequent competition; 2) conduct a series of programs, including panel discussions and public tours of the landfill, which will educate Staten Islanders and New Yorkers on the magnitude of the Fresh Kills challenge, its opportunities and constraints; and 3) commission a photographic essay of the site which will be exhibited both at the MAS galleries in midtown Manhattan and at a prominent Staten Island site, and designed to eventually travel to other communities across the country.