Thursday, January 12, 2017

Completion of Croton Aqueduct Celebrated October 14, 1842

Here is a historical silk ribbon commemorating the completion of the Croton Aqueduct on October 14, 1842.  The ribbon tells the complete history of the project -- recommended in 1832 by Col. DeWitt Clinton; in 1833 the NY State Legislature began surveys; there are 110 miles of pipes;  the cost was 12 million dollars;  Robert Morris was the Mayor of NYC at the time of completion.  The whole history is printed on the ribbon.  This year is the 175th anniversary of the completion of the aqueduct.   The water crossing the Harlem River in 1842 passed through a siphon tube below the water.  However, it wasn't until July 4, 1848 that the High Bridge was completed, allowing shipping and navigation on the river.  The ribbon measures 3" x 7.75".

Monday, January 9, 2017

Computerworld Runs Article on Soofa Benches in Highbridge Park

The Soofa Smart Park Bench
Matt Hamblen, Senior Editor at Computerworld, has written an interesting article on  Hi Tech in New York City.  Among the items he writes about he highlights the new Soofa Smart Park Benches that have been installed in Highbridge Park in Washington Heights.   This is a follow up post to the one we had last year when it was first announced that the City was participating in the experiment.
One of the more charming uses of smart tech in New York is being tested with several park benches installed in Highbridge Park at 175th St. and Amsterdam Ave. in Washington Heights.  The solar-powered benches, designed by Soofa, a startup with connections to the Mit Media Lab, allow park visitors to charge a smartphone or other device while resting, socializing or sunbathing.

The smart benches also allow park officials to count Wi-Fi-enabled devices as they pass by the bench, which allows them to estimate foot traffic and in turn determine if more security or trash removal might be needed in an area of a park.

Assuaging citizen concerns, the Soofa pilot incorporates a set of "internet of things guidelines" created by the city which govern privacy and security concerns for the new devices.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Report Back Meeting on Use of Highbridge Park Anchor Park Funding

According to Jenifer Hoppa, Northern Manhattan Parks AdministratorNYC Parks

The next Community Report Back Meeting for the Highbridge Anchor Park Project will be on Tuesday January 31, at 6:30 p.m. at the Highbridge Recreation Center. At the meeting participants can review the public input that has been received about improving the park and comment on preliminary master plan recommendations for the park. 

What has happened so far?
The 130-acre Highbridge Park was selected as one of five parks in the city to receive $30 million in improvements through Mayor de Blasio’s Anchor Parks program, which is part of NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver’s Framework for an Equitable Future – a commitment to create thriving public spaces for all New Yorkers.

On November 28th, a Visioning Meeting was convened at the Highbridge Recreation Center where people from the community gathered to share their ideas, hopes and concerns about the future of the park. Following the Visioning Meeting NYC Parks solicited additional input from people who were unable to attend the meeting on November 28th. 

The NYC Parks design team has compiled and analyzed the ideas, identifying which ones appeared to be the most popular and fit within the scope of a capital master plan.  Among these ideas were:
·         Increasing access and connectivity
·         Enhancing park maintenance and amenities
·         Strengthening gathering places
·         More sports opportunities
·         Improving play spaces, programming and placemaking opportunities
·         Adding lighting

What will happen next?
The Community Report Back meeting is the opportunity for the community to learn more about the top concerns and priorities developed up till now and how these are being incorporated into the planning process and to accommodate them into the proposed park master plan.  You are invited to provide feedback on the initial recommendations. Continued community involvement and engagement is essential in planning for Highbridge Park’s future. Please save this date and attend the meeting and express your ideas.

Event details
Date: Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Location: Highbridge Recreation Center, 2301 Amsterdam Ave. @ W 173rd Street
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Kids are welcome to attend and contribute ideas.
Light refreshments will be provided.
Spanish translators will be present.
The site is accessible for people with disabilities.
Please tell your friends, family and colleagues about this meeting.