Competition Urban Planning, New York 2011

Sponsors: d3 / transalt

Location: New York City

Result: 1. Platz


Gerhard Abel, Oliver Cmyral, Dawit Kassaw, Stefanie Amtmann, Carmen Val Solana, Paul Linsbauer


swimming and surfing directly at the east river? public space radically reinvented!

1st Prize in international competition

"Close the Gap" was an international competition to expand alternative transportation and new recreational space along New York's East River.

The New York Greenway, the network of cycle paths around Manhattan still had a crucial gap at the East River. We decided to close the gap.

Our research on the topic led us to fundamental questions of mobility, alternative means of transportation, and alternate energy supplies for a mega-city in the 21st century.

This concept won us the competition against entries from 22 countries..

Our proposal provides for a series of interventions that not only deal with urban mobility but innovatively use the East River shoreline and nearby Roosevelt Island as a new urban living and recreational areas.


With the terms Connection, Space and Energy we redefine the entire space:

The infrastructure developed directly merges and complements an existing networks of public transport and cycle paths. The project generates a quality of life in public space that is lacking in Manhattan. A new, large recreational area is create that offers space for a wide range of activities and is easily accessible thanks to proposed infrastructure.

All interventions also include renewable energy: from solar panels on noise barriers, to the use of the hydropower on the East River, which continues to flow under the new park landscape.

A new recreational area emerges.


Wide promenades for cyclists and pedestrians, areas for leisure, recreation, and sports.

The highway is tunnelled overhead, while the East River is moved underneath a new park landscape and that a direct connection from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island is created.

The new “lake” above the East River can be used for leisure activities all year round, while the underground portion of the river serves as power generation, as do the solar panels on noise barriers along the FDR Highway.


"From the PLANET team's focus on increasing open space in Manhattan with an eye to integrating new and old infrastructure... these teams took the hopes of countless East Side residents and brought them to life."
Jury Statement