Long Division

Long Division image

Team Members
Kazys Varnelis, William Prince, Leigha Dennis, Kyle Hovenkotter, Momo Araki, Alexis Burson

Juror Summary
Emphasizes the dire need to conserve freshwater resources, provocatively suggesting that only some downtowns should grow into dense and diverse centers, while others might shrink over time.

Key Themes
Conserving water resources, infill development, innovative building types, supporting diversity

Long Division is a regional planning strategy embracing both voiding and densification based on the needs of the local population and geography.
Suburban re-development must be regional. Our proposal divides Long Island into two zones based on infrastructural and ecological factors: Western Long Island is already relatively dense, integrated into the metropolitan area by rail while eastern Long Island is underserved by infrastructure. Moreover, Long Island sits on one of the most productive aquifers in the country and needs to defend this to assure its future.
To this end, we propose no-growth zones for the east and north where the aquifer is deepest and closest to the surface. As the population of that area ages, communities such as Riverhead revert to dense villages surrounded by sustainable farming, nature preserves and other uses compatible with aquifer preservation while serving as an amenity for the vacation region of the Hamptons and for the dense west.
In the west, we propose a second-city approach, creating a viable set of dense centers both as a support area for New York and also as independent, productive communities. Typologies aim to increase diversity between communities and create identity rather than homogeneity in downtowns. Instead of searching for one solution, we propose a set of solutions for housing, open space, and productivity, each responding to an area’s population: e.g. seniors, aspiring minorities, recent immigrants, and artists/artisans. Over time, outlying areas within suburbs will become voided to serve as buffers that sustain community identity.