Text by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates: Unscathed by Superstorm Sandy’s brackish inundation, Segment 5 is an enormously popular park in the formerly “parkless” Chelsea. The outward-looking centerpiece of the 5-mile Hudson River Park, itself a miracle of 30 years of public advocacy, Segment 5 is a resourceful and truly public space born of vocal neighbourhood demand. It is a model for hurricane resilience and climate change adaptation, integrating creative engineering with a diverse range of uses and landscape types.
The Segment 5 site is wider than the typical cross-section west of the West Side Highway. Two preexisting piers frame the site, extending the city grid out into the river. In the center of the site, a broad lawn was created where a third pier once existed, providing a sweeping, boundless view of the river rare for Lower Manhattan. The 3 acre central lawn supports pick up sports, large outdoor yoga classes, and everyday hanging out. A dramatic landform bowl shelters the lawn from the West Side Highway and helps define a series of adjacent smaller-scale areas for more active use, including a bikeway, a sculpture garden, a carousel, and a world-class skate park. Read more