Amy Ford-Wagner, Tom Jost, Ebony Sterling, Philip Jonat, Emily Hull, Will Wagenlander, Meg Cederoth, Melanie George, David Greenblatt, Melissa Targett
Suggests an imaginative new paradigm for relocating low-density, car-dependent commercial development to transit-served downtowns, and thus replacing office parks with organic farms.
Retrofitting shopping centers and office parks, suburban agriculture, new mass transit networks, transit-oriented development (TOD), walkability
America’s first suburb has long attracted families seeking open space, affordable home-ownership, local government and community. However, rapid automobile-oriented expansion has transformed this hamlet of farms and villages into a congested sprawl. Land is being gobbled up, taxes are skyrocketing, services are decreasing and communities are beginning to erode. Leaders are looking for solutions to generate new economies, improve the environment and restore the connection to local community.
Our proposal – AgISLAND – envisions a new paradigm for economic, environmental and social development, combining the historic relationship of farming with new open space, decreased automobile dependence, alternative energy, a new economy and connection to the land and to each other. We have selected Farmingdale, along Route 110. Symbolic as a farm town replaced by millions of square feet of office parks, massive malls, strip centers and a few isolated residential developments – Farmingdale is the poster child for Long Island sprawl development.
AgISLAND replaces office parks with organic farms, fed by AgTRAIN, a conveyer connected to processing, distribution and rail to connect all of Long Island to dense centers where goods are sold. AgTrain conveys waste to soil-mixing and waste-to-energy plants, providing organic soils to farms and alternative energy to the community.
The office parks are relocated to our transit-oriented community, served by LIRR and light rail on Route 110. Retail, education, entertainment and residential opportunities are mixed to significantly reduce automobile reliance. The result is an environmentally productive, socially diverse, economically industrious, livable, walkable community.