Public artist integrates urban planning & landscape design

August 1, 2012  |   Feature
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Paul Krugman of The New York Times suggested that establishing a relationship between climate change and our day-to-day experience has the best chance of motivating action.

New York’s “City as Living Laboratory,” a public art project by artist Mary Miss, is decoding the natural systems and infrastructure that makes our cities livable. The project opens up opportunities for visions of improvement on individual and collective levels. “City as Living Laboratory” hopes to educate the public about the changes that surrounds us, so that we may acquire tools to envision the future in new ways.

Mary Miss has been making art in, and about, the environment since the late 1960s. Nancy Princethal wrote in Art in America, April 2012, that Mary Miss treats the surface of the landscape as a permeable skin, and pays particular attention to places where the solid parts of the planet meet the watery ones: riverbanks, lakefronts, tidal basins, even an old swimming pool. ...A pioneer of public sculpture that integrates urban planning and landscape design, she has created many permanent public projects, the best known of which is South Cove, completed in 1987 at the base of the esplanade along Manhattan’s Hudson River. Bringing pedestrians alongside and even over the water, South Cove also features planting, seating and lighting. Similarly intimate water access is offered by public projects Miss has built in Des Moines, St. Louis and elsewhere. Among her major landlocked projects is a permanent installation at the Union Square station of New York’s subway system; it excavates old mosaics, tiles and signage, and highlights them with frames, mirrors and text.

Of these “1000 Steps”, one of our most recent was a 14-plus mile, 12-hour walk the length of Broadway.

The video below. Through the eyes and experiences of artists, scientists, and community activists the public experiences the interconnections of ecological, engineering, social, and historical decisions that have shaped this iconic corridor in New York City.

Broadway 1000 Steps

Have you experienced Greenwood Pond: Double Site in Des Moines, Iowa? Send in you comments.