Envisioning Gateway: A Public Design Competition for Gateway National Park

Gateway was designated the first urban National Recreation Area on October 27, 1972, exactly one century after Yellowstone became the first national park in the United States and the world. Thirty-five years later, Gateway continues to struggle to meet the aspirations of its founders, to negotiate its relationship with the communities that surround it, and to balance the goals of historic preservation, environmental conservation, and active recreation.

A 26,607-acre site stretching across the New York-New Jersey harbor and coast, Gateway has incredible potential to become a global model for re-conceptualizing the role of national parks relative to an increasingly urbanized landscape. We must acknowledge the growing urgency to bridge science, design and politics when addressing today’s built environment, and redefine environmental stewardship and cultural patronage to match the scale of contemporary urban development patterns and needs. Envisioning Gateway at this juncture will generate critical dialogue not only about the significance of national parks today, but about the ways in which thriving cities and complex ecosystems can co-exist.

The focus of the competition is twofold – competitors are being asked to address Gateway at a regional scale, and to design a new park sited at Floyd Bennett Airfield relative to its position within the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway. Floyd Bennett Field is a 1,358-acre piece of land that was New York’s first municipal airport; today, however, it suffers from a lack of identity and definition. Competitors are challenged to redefine what a “park” is today in terms of contemporary urban conditions and social/recreational needs and desires.

The competition officially launches on January 29, 2007, with a registration deadline of March 14, 2007. The submission deadline is May 7, 2007, and the winners will be announced in June 2007, with an exhibition of the winning submission.

The competition is open to all designers and non-designers, professionals or students. First prize is $15,000; second prize is $10,000; and third prize is $5,000. An honourable mention of $500 will also be awarded.

For more information, please contact:

Envisioning Gateway Design Competition
Van Alen Institute
30 W. 22nd Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10010
Tel: 212-924-7000