Urban Quotient

Highbridge Master Plan

New York / Bronx, NY (Ongoing Research)
Other Team Members: Amelia Magida & Zhang Tao

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Initial sketch of vertical connection to water

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Initial sketch of park program as wall components

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Schematic of paths and nodes connecting neighborhood to water

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Tensegrity structures

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Study of pathways and potential enclosures

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Agent-based script exploring structure and enclosure for paths and bridges

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Results of agent-based algorithm exploring urban fabric, topography, and potential paths

The Highbridge Master Plan is an ongoing research collaboration focused on the use of complex systems logic to create alternative methods for urban design & planning. It grew out of a study of the Highbridge, a former aqueduct and pedestrian bridge that once connected Manhattan and the Bronx, and the surrounding parks and neighborhoods. Our work includes analysis of the larger infrastructure, social, and ecological systems around the Highbridge and seeks potential opportunities to connect them together. This includes waterfront access, pathway and bridge structures, art facilities and other community development program spaces.

UQ’s methodology is to create a set of tools that can negotiate the competing interests embedded in the urban environment and provide a set of solutions that can become plans or design guidelines after careful analysis. Each application of this methodology has its own unique objectives that can be modeled into the search algorithm, and which also provide a set of clear design goals against which to measure the results. Ultimately, UQ’s hypothesis is that these tools can facilitate an open source planning process that encourages real community participation and replaces assumptions often found in traditional urban design and physical planning.