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Things You Didn't Know: Freshkills Park

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Published on
October 20, 2023
Things You Didn't Know: Bloomberg Connects

Freshkills Park, designed by Field Operations, is a massive recovery project of a landfill site turned 2,200-acre park in Staten Island. The first section, the North Park, has just opened to the public, 22 years after the master plan first began. On the Bloomberg Connects Archtober Guide, listen to an app-exclusive audio clip of Tatiana Choulika, Landscape Architect and Principal of Field Operations, describe what this project means to New York City.

Image: City of New York, Department of Parks, Freshkills Park.

The Site’s History

In 1948, Robert Moses chose a 458-acre site to fill with household garbage, with the hopes of preparing the site for development. The development never happened and the tidal creeks and coastal marshes of the Freshkills Park were thus transformed into a landfill. The landfill continued to fill with garbage until its closure on December 31, 2001, and by this date, the landfill took up 2,200 acres of land.

Image: Field Operations and Alex S. MacLean, Landslides courtesy of NYC Parks.

Transforming the Site

Field Operations designed an award-winning master plan for the land which intended to transform the landfill into parklands over the course of 30 years. This slow process was necessary to fully capture the potential of the site and restore its waterways, grasslands, and woodlands, to benefit both natural and urban life. The revival of the environment would connect these unique natural elements to the Staten Island Greenbelt and promote the diversity of local wildlife.

Image: Field Operations.

Hope for the Future

750 acres of Freshkills Park will be accessible to the public for recreation, events, and nature trails. The panoramic views and natural beauty remind us of the potential of nature and urban life to coexist with one another. Even the harshest conditions can be restored and sustainably transformed, giving promise to the future of New York City.

Image: City of New York, Department of Parks, Freshkills Park.

Learn more about Freshkills Park and Field Operations master plan, and other New York City landscape projects, on the Bloomberg Connects Archtober Guide and discover the possibilities of sustainable development.