Shared / Separation
As designers begin to formulate schemes to combat the spread of COVID-19, we must be wholly conscious of the carbon ramifications of our design initiatives. As our response, knowledge, and approach to COVID-19 advances, our designs must be able to adapt to these new conditions. A permanent and intensive design solution would involve an enormous carbon investment for construction/maintenance, and the outcome may not adequately evolve with our changing society. Instead, designers must survey the city around us and begin to leverage current conditions through flexible interventions in order to combat the spread of COVID-19.
While minimal, Shared Separation nearly eliminates the initial carbon investment of most construction projects. The only tangible components of the proposal are moveable planters that serve as bollards along a commercial street. During peak automobile traffic, these planters would unobtrusively line the roadway. Following morning and evening vehicle congestion, these planters would be shifted to occupy the two outer lanes of any typical four-lane commercial street. This recaptured area would be divided into bicycle lanes and outdoor retail/restaurant space.
Two of the most effective practices for minimizing the risks of COVID-19 have been social distancing and increased air exchange rates. Shared Separation provides additional retail/restaurant area outside for social distancing, and it thus eliminates the need to increase HVAC loads and the associated carbon investment. Temporarily reclaiming these two automobile lanes will also help to promote alternative transit (primarily bicycles), and act as a transition to the more permanent societal change needed to fully combat the climate crisis.
An analysis of the temporality of the development and the ephemeral, cyclical aspect of the street's activities piqued the jury's curiosity. However, the need to move the bins and walls twice a day seems to require a little too much logistics.
(From jury report)
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- Presentation Panel