SITU was selected to participate in the exhibition Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities, which features design research and proposals that explore rapid urbanization, population growth and inequality presented through case studies in six megacities - Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, New York, and Rio de Janeiro. Each of the six cities was studied by an interdisciplinary team comprised of two studios. SITU worked in collaboration with Cohabitation Strategies to investigate these themes in the context of New York.
In the exhibition, SITU presents findings on this research as well as a series of design strategies that seek to merge bottom-up and top-down responses to unevenness in New York.
Even though housing in New York is rarely compared to conditions found in cities like Mumbai or Rio, one simply needs to scratch the surface in order to find the varied informal financial, social, and spatial networks that live in the shadows of New York City's legal frameworks. Evidenced by cash-based economies, strained infrastructure, or illegally converted dwellings, much of the populations operating in these zones are poor and often concealed from view. Unlike many other parts of the world - where density is on view and a central part of policy, planning, and design discourse - a distinguishing characteristics of the informal housing market in New York is the interiority of its condition. Made invisible within the existing housing stock poor residents are often left out of the policies and design decisions that shape their homes.
For more information about our report Invisible New York, the American Community Survey, and the Community Growth Corporation, please visit our blog here.
"The Other New York," an animation featured in Uneven Growth, may be viewed here.