By Maria Dering
After ten years of collaboration, top chefs, designers, and city and neighborhood leaders cut the ribbon on the Upper West Side’s first fully sustainable streetscape. Located on the West side of Columbus Avenue between 76th and 77th Streets, the installation features Manhattan’s first bioswale (captures and purifies rain water for reuse), in-ground solar lighting, nine new trees, benches, and a solar-operated “Big Belly” trash compactor. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer commented, “This is very rare: we created a park on Columbus Avenue. It’s an example of community-based planning with an environmental agenda second to none.”
The project was financed by the proceeds from annual “New Taste of the Upper West Side” events. Cutting the ribbon today were Chefs Clarence Quinones (Sarabeth’s), Maria Loi (Loi Restaurant), Cesare Casella (Salumeri Rosi). Three more “New Taste” events are coming soon: Soiree in the Park on May 29, Comfort Classics on May 31, and Best of the West on June 1 (VIP reception at 6 p.m.).
The street scape was designed by Nick Pettinati, Project Manager, DOT Urban Design and Art Unit, who attended the event along with Wendy Feuer, Assistant Commissioner, DOT Art and Design; Barbara Adler, Executive Director, Columbus Avenue BID; Don Evans, Chair of “New Taste of the Upper West Side”; Doug Griebel, President, Columbus Avenue BID, and Mel Wymore, candidate for City Council.
Top photo via Columbus Avenue BID. Bottom photo by Maria Dering.