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.

NEWS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. Cato says:

      Must be about time to sell the whole school property (hey, folks, it’s a school yard!) to a developer to build Luxury Condos — no?

    2. Monica says:

      Interesting article on sustainable streetscape…why is the solar powered trash compactor under a tree….in the shade? It would be best utilized diagonally placed across the street, where most of the refuse collects since people take their meals to the benches on that side of the street. WHY is it placed under a tree? THINK.

    3. Sandy says:

      Wonderful! Now keep the freakin’ pooches away. 98% of people with dogs are conscientious, but it only takes a few pees and a few tramples to ruin a plant and flower bed.

    4. Doug Kiddie says:

      This is a wonderful example of creative landscaping of public property. Have you seen this bright spot on Columbus Ave. yet? Thanks to Maria Dering for bringing this little strip some inspiring attention.

    5. NikFromNYC says:

      It’s a bunch of plants on a sidewalk, lacking any and all environmental impact on a paved island populated locally by preening narcissists who still worship tobacco farmer and now oil money baron Al Gore, divinity major who got Cs in science and an F in Authenticity.

    6. westSideRRRR says:

      Umm thanks and nice.

      But, 10 years + millions for some bushes and trees in a few spots?

    7. Barbara Michalak says:

      Nice. I hope the funding covers collecting data and reporting in a year’s time as guidance for expanded efforts.

    8. SmashQ says:

      Nice. And it only took 10 years. To plant some shrubs on one side of one block.