Course Subject
Course Number
Course Credit

Advanced Urban Design

Course Description

This one-week intensive studio course examines opportunities offered by the open rail yard network known as Sunnyside Yards. Landowners include private entities, as well as Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. The 180-acre site is in active use by these major transportation providers and also by the Long Island Rail Road and several freight lines. The City of New York owns the air rights over certain parcels within the bounds of the site. Sunnyside Yards has been called a “giant bowl of spaghetti that will never be untangled.”

But recently, Sunnyside Yards is very much “in play” and there are competing visions for its redevelopment. Mayor de Blasio’s administration is undertaking a feasibility study to evaluate the site for 11,250 units of new affordable housing. Another group of people, led in part by former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, promotes the site for a new Convention Center.

Through a focused design study of the area's history, its diverse neighborhoods, changing demographics, geological and topographical profile, and unique transportation demands, students will develop urban design proposals to engage and evaluate current proposals, and envision future uses.

Louise Harpman, Associate Professor of Architecture, Urban Design, and Sustainability, will direct the studio.


URPL-GP 1620

Areas of Impact