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midtownguy70 t1_iu8yry1 wrote

Cool but old and missing a lot of prominent new skyscrapers. Hudson Yards in this shot has only one building near completion. It's a whole cluster now. 57th is missing several supertalls as well. The Queens and Brooklyn waterfronts are much more developed now. Also missing One Vanderbilt and Downtown Brooklyn is more built up now. Amazing how much development happened since this was captured.


JaredSeth t1_iu8zwho wrote

> Amazing how much development happened since this was captured.

In just 6 years. The satellite image is from 2016. You can see it among the photos on this page.


functor7 t1_iu9fbvn wrote

People complain about the super-thins as being ugly, but Hudson Yards is the most boring and grotesque group of skyscrapers in the city.


99hoglagoons t1_iu9gkfn wrote

This is a topic Jane Jacobs covered extensively. A successful neighborhood has to have a mix of old and new buildings. This is going to be a challenge when you are creating neighborhoods from scratch. See Canary Wharf in London or La Defense in Paris. Same energy as Hudson Yards. They all feel eerily detached from rest of the city.


midtownguy70 t1_iu9mskd wrote

A big part of the problem is the way big new buildings are designed at street level.

Retail footprints are large and tend to be rented to chain stores and sterile uses like bank branches- especially all of the prominent corner locations. It creates a feeling of boredom and sameness. The retail spaces face the sidewalk with mostly flat panels of glass and no appearance of individuality or interesting human sized features, no awnings or much of anything protruding or creating semi-protected space for outdoor activity. No variety of scale.

Often, one or two sides of a whole block are designed with dead zones that are nothing but loading docks, service zones and mechanical spaces.

Food is relegated to indoor "food courts" (often in windowless basements of all places), or everyone is eating out of trucks (but lots of coffee coffee coffee shops). Stick an "art gallery" here or there with colorful non-threatening works that the people in the adjacent new condos can match with a sofa. Instant "culture".

Plazas and public spaces are nicely planted but usually lack amenities beyond a few benches, if we're lucky. Open expanses offering little incentive to linger there. These neighborhoods from scratch could easily be designed to be more inviting and charming. A place like Hudson Yards provides locals with very few reasons to ever return, after a first curious walk through.


99hoglagoons t1_iu9rmru wrote

This is an excellent architectural critique of folly of developer maximized modern design. I have worked on projects that have a "better base". More human scaled. But this often requires giving up square footage above, and no developer in NYC is gonna do that. Every inch counts when it comes to leasable space. You end up with flat rectangles poking into the sky. You can't even add interesting awnings or similar elements because you are already up to the property line. Zoning laws are not written by people who are design inclined. But if you had no zoning, results would be even worse.


JTP1228 t1_iuacsvr wrote

Not to mention this picture isn't even all of NYC. It 3 Boroughs and NJ