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News » US » New York shortlists ideas for canal transformation » published 12 Apr 2018

New York shortlists ideas for canal transformation

The finalists have been announced in an international design competition to come up with ideas for transforming the New York’s canal system.

State governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the seven finalists in the US$2.5m ‘Reimagine the Canals’ competition.

The competition seeks innovative ideas to transform the canal system as it begins its second century of operations. The competition, managed by the Canal Corporation and the New York Power Authority, seeks new approaches for how to both use the canals as an engine for economic development and also to become a hub for tourism and recreation.

"This competition to bring new life into the historic Canal System is occurring in the same year as the system's centennial, and it's clear from the creativity in these entries that the future for the next century is very bright," said Cuomo. "With the contributions from these finalists, our canals will continue to serve a transformative role in helping the Upstate economy thrive."

The seven finalists were drawn from a field of 145 entries from nine countries and nine states. Each of the shortlisted teams will receive up to US$50,000 to develop their entries for the next stage.

The finalists are:

  • Go the Distance: this initiative will look to develop overnight accommodations for recreational users of the canal system. The team includes the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor from Waterford, NY; Gray Slate Partners from Troy, NY; 2K Design from Clifton Park, NY, and Dorgan Architecture & Planning from Storrs, Conn;
  • Canal Winterlocks: seeks to develop winter-time uses for the Erie Canal, potentially including skating, hockey, winter festivals and cross-country skiing. The team includes Clare Lyster Urbanism and Architecture and John Ronan Architects, both from Chicago and Urban Engineers from Philadelphia;
  • Great Erie Canal Race: a multi-day race for many types of watercraft, with a component for bikers and hikers. The team, led by Parks and Trails New York, includes Joe Gustainis from Caledonia, NY, and Karthik Namasivayam from Pittsford, NY, as advisors;
  • Intra-Works: installations of art and sculpture to forge a cultural identity that links up the Canal System. The team includes the architecture and planning firms Collective Studio from New York City and WRT and Interface, both from Philadelphia;
  • Pocket Neighborhoods: a model for canal-side neighborhoods that have the Erie Canal as the core of their identity. The team includes the Madison County Planning Department and Stream Collaborative, an architecture firm in Ithaca;
  • Western New York Irrigation: this plan will build off the canal's water infrastructure to expand its irrigation capabilities. The team includes SUNY ESF Professor Stephen Shaw, C&S Companies of Syracuse and the Cornell Cooperative Extension;
  • Upstate Archipelago: this team is developing designs for resilient water landscapes that also provide public recreation space and wildlife habitat. The team includes Cornell Design, Ithaca; Cornell Cooperative Extension and H&N&S, a landscape architecture firm based in the Netherlands.

Gil C Quiniones, president and CEO of NYPA, which operates the state Canal System as a subsidiary, said: "The response to this competition is amazing and it is clear the judges had some tough choices to make. Picking the final winners will be just as difficult, but we are confident we'll have some great ideas for the Canal System that can be put into action.”

Final submissions will be due in early July. The winners, who will receive between US$250,000 and US$1.5m to plan and implement their projects, are slated to be announced in the early fall.


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This article was published on 12 Apr 2018 (last updated on 12 Apr 2018).

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