Harvard GSD Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design, NYC High Line Contest News, US Graduate School

Harvard GSD Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design

High Line New York City, NY, USA – 2018 Winner: JCFO / Diller Scofidio + Renfro / Piet Oudolf

Feb 21, 2018

Location: Massachusetts, USA

Harvard Graduate School of Design Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design 2018

High Line Wins Harvard Graduate School of Design’s 2017 Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design

$50,000 international prize awarded to Friends of the High Line, non-profit organization overseeing park’s upkeep and stewardship

CAMBRIDGE, MA (February 21, 2018) — The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) is pleased to announce that the 13th Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design has been awarded to the High Line in New York, designed collaboratively by James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf.

The High Line Park New York City
photograph © Iwan Baan

Harvard Graduate School of Design Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design

The prize committee has elected to allot the monetary prize of $50,000 associated with the award to Friends of the High Line, in recognition of the organization’s originating efforts and continued stewardship behind the project.

The High Line is a linear public park built on elevated freight rail on Manhattan’s West Side. Stretching a mile and a half, the park opened to the public in three parts between 2009 and 2014; it now hosts over 450 programs and activities and welcomes nearly 8 million visitors each year. The High Line originated in 1934 as a spur of industrial-freight rail, elevating train traffic off the streets of Manhattan’s largest industrial district as part of a massive infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement Project.

With the rise of interstate industrial trucking, the High Line fell out of use over the course of the mid-20th century, and ran its last train in 1980. Neighborhood residents Robert Hammond, Executive Director, and Joshua David founded Friends of the High Line in 1999 to advocate for the High Line’s preservation. Planning for rehabilitation and reuse began in 2002; in 2004, Friends of the High Line and the City of New York selected the design team of James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf.

The High Line Park New York
photo © Iwan Baan

As a design intervention, the High Line is equal parts infrastructure, landscape, and architecture, built around an impassioned commitment to post-industrial retrofitting, urban revitalization, recuperation of public space, and allure of the natural environment. Elevated 30 feet above Manhattan’s streets, the High Line offers a floating promenade overlooking New York’s urban culture, from the Midtown skyline to the Hudson River and the blend of activity on the roadways beneath it.

The park’s plant design is inspired by the landscape that grew on the High Line during the 25 years after trains stopped running along it; various species of grasses, perennials, trees, and bushes were all chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, and textural and color variation.

The High Line has been hailed as a model of urban regeneration and of collaboration across fields and perspectives. In summarizing the deliberation process, the Green Prize jury noted that a great urban-design project is one where multiple actors spanning public and private domains are involved in and committed to lasting urban change. The prize jury also praised Friends of the High Line for its support of design excellence from the very beginning of the project, for its agility and responsiveness amid a rapidly changing context, and for its advocacy of the High Line’s social and political relevance through community outreach programs and a wider dissemination program for cities around the United States. A full memorandum from the prize jury appears below.

“This year’s selection committee has chosen to recognize the High Line not only for its exceptional design quality, but also because it was a cooperatively-orchestrated, multifaceted endeavor in which citizens, top-tier design professionals, and public authorities worked together to innovate and successfully implement a new archetype for urban design, one that is now being replicated globally,” says Diane E. Davis, chair of the 2017 Green Prize jury and chair of the GSD’s Department of Urban Planning and Design. “The rare alignment of actors, each reaching distinction at the highest professional level, made the High Line both remarkable and worthy of this prize, embodying the best in the field of urban design while also contributing to the collective urban realm.”

Davis chaired the jury of the 2017 Green Prize, with jury members including: Stephen Gray, Assistant Professor of Design, GSD; Jeannette Kuo, Assistant Professor in Practice of Architecture, GSD; Paola Vigano, Professor of Urbanism, IUAV University of Venice; and Charles Waldheim, John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture, GSD. The Green Prize is unique among international urban design award programs in that its jury members travel to experience finalist projects firsthand.

“Receiving this award is a tremendous honor. It validates the years of hard work our team and partners have put in toward reimagining how public space can improve the quality of life for its community,” says Robert Hammond, Co-Founder & Executive Director at Friends of the High Line. “We gladly accept this award for all New Yorkers and supporters of the High Line everywhere.”

“I and my team at Field Operations are delighted and honored with this Prize,” says James Corner, Founding Partner and CEO of James Corner Field Operations.

“It is especially meaningful to me that the High Line is recognized by the Green Prize for the complex urban ecosystem that it is: an ecology of design, culture, urban renewal, civic leadership and new forms of public experience.”

“The future of the urban environment lies in the reinvention of infrastructure and the rethinking of public space,” says Ricardo Scofidio, Founding Partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro. “Thanks to the visionary Friends of the High Line and a group of exceptional collaborators, the High Line does both. We are delighted the High Line is being honored by this award and hope it continues to inspire cities to develop sustainable public spaces.”

An exhibition on the High Line will be on view at the GSD’s Druker Design Gallery during the GSD’s 2018-2019 academic year.

The High Line Park Manhattan
photo © Iwan Baan

About Friends of the High Line

Friends of the High Line (FHL) is a nonprofit organization that oversees the maintenance, operations, public programming, and public art for the High Line and also provides nearly 100% of the High Line’s annual budget. Working closely with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, FHL strives to ensure the High Line remains a great public space for all New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy. Originally founded to prevent the elevated rail track from being demolished and transform the space into a public New York City park where nature, art, and design can intersect, FHL seeks to:

– Make the High Line a place where every New Yorker and visitor feels welcome
– Expand and evolve public programming at the High Line to engage the vibrant and diverse surrounding communities
– Maintain and operate the physical space to the highest level of excellence
– Provide leadership for other urban space redesign projects.

For more information visit www.thehighline.org

About the Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design

The Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design is the foremost award recognizing achievement in this field. Awarded biennially, the prize recognizes exemplary urban design projects realized anywhere in the world in the past 10 years, with the understanding that such projects often require many years before they are able to demonstrate impacts. Projects must be more than one building or an open space, and are evaluated in terms of their contributions to the public realm and to quality of urban life. The project must also demonstrate a humane and worthwhile direction for the design of urban environments.

The award was established in 1986 on the occasion of Harvard University’s 350th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the Harvard GSD. Nominations for the prize are received from the GSD’s extensive network of academics and urban design professionals.

2018 Harvard GSD Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design

Harvard Graduate School of Design Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design Past Winners

Previous winners include:
Madrid Río by Ginés Garrido of Burgos & Garrido with Porras & La Casta, Rubio & Álvarez-Sala, and West 8 (2015); Metro do Porto in Porto, Portugal, by Eduardo Souto do Moura with the Metro do Porto, and the Northeastern Urban Integration Project in Medellín, Colombia, by the City of Medellín with architect Alejandro Echeverri and Empresa de Desarrolo Urbano (EDU) (co-winners, 2013); Cheonggyecheon Restoration Project in Seoul, Korea, by the Seoul Metropolitan Government (2010); Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, Washington, by Weiss/Manfredi (2007); Rehabilitation of the Old City of Aleppo, Syria, by the City of Aleppo (2005); Borneo Sporenburg Residential Waterfront in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, by Adriaan Geuze/West 8 (2002); Favela-Bairro Project in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by Jorge Mario Jáuregui Architects (2000).

Harvard Graduate School of Design Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design information received 210218

The High Line Park in New York City

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