An NYIT professor, student, and alumna are among the People’s Choice winners of the “Build a Better Burb” Ideas Competition for Retrofitting Long Island’s Downtowns. Online survey respondents selected their design from among 212 entries around the world. Sponsored by the Long Island Index, the competition invited architects, urban designers, planners, students, and visionaries to submit bold design ideas for 83,000 unused acres in one or more of 156 Long Island downtown and trainadjacent areas, while addressing islandwide challenges.
NYIT’s entry, “LIRR: Long Island Radically Rezoned,” was designed by Assistant Professor Tobias Holler of NYIT’s School of Architecture and Design, architecture student Katelyn Mulry, Ana Serra (B. Arch. ’96), associate sustainability consultant for engineering firm Buro Happold, and Sven Peters, principal of Atelier Sven Peters. It calls for a selfsufficient and regenerative island, with land to be developed partially as green space and partially as high-density, mixed use downtown areas located around Long Island Rail Road stations. These downtown areas would include stores, offices, and housing built in areas where parking lots currently exist. The team also proposed energy from wind turbines located off the coast of Long Island, food grown under domes, rainwater harvesting, and a waste recycling process.
“Sustainability is a common thread in each of our personal and professional lives,” said Holler. “Once we started the competition, we immediately realized that there were many problems that are interconnected and need to be solved simultaneously. It was not sufficient to just address the mass transit problem, or the energy problem or the food problem. The most interesting aspect of this exercise was finding synergies that allowed us to have a holistic strategy in order to put Long Island on a path toward selfsufficiency and provide a better life for residents and visitors.”