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New York's incredible new public garden

Words by Smiley Team

New York City is known for many things: big buildings, people being particular about their pizza, and being one of the most populous cities in the world.

One thing it isn’t well known for, though, is its green space.

The city does have a large portion of its acreage devoted to green space, but nearly half of that is found in Central Park. That's why a new project in Midtown is looking to add to that.

Midtown is known for a handful of things including the Empire State Building, Broadway, Times Square, the Chrysler Building, and many others. The Midtown East space, designed by Snøhetta, an international architectural firm, will be in the heart of Manhattan and will feature a glass canopy over the space. The space itself will have a central waterfall with sprawling plants, and a central hearth for the winter months. 

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“When designing the 550 Madison Garden, we were inspired by the regional context of the river gorges of the Catskills and by the vibrant and canyon-like quality of Midtown Manhattan,” Michelle Delk, Partner & Discipline Director of Landscape at Snøhetta, told NBC.

The project began in 2016 when a single-tenant office building was being repurposed for multiple tenants. A passageway was open in the area and has since been repurposed for the Midtown East park. 

“A central cascading fountain aligns with the view from the interior lobby, seasonal plantings create interest and variety, food and retail kiosks, public restrooms, a circular hearth offering warmth during the winter, and a variety of fixed and moveable seating are distributed throughout,” said Delk.

The area will feature dozens of trees, 200 shrubs, 2,000 bulbs, and 10,000 perennials split into five different sections.

Inspired to act?

SUPPORT: Look into these six different organizations that work to provide more green space across the United States. 

VOLUNTEER: Make sure you look into volunteering at or donating to your local parks. Things like park beach cleanups are a great way to help your green spaces.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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