The Broadway Mall Association, a nonprofit group that maintains five and a half miles of green space on the medians of Broadway between 70th and 168th streets, is currently collaborating with Balmori Associates (Landscape/Urban Design), Joel Sanders (Architecture), and Domingo Gonzalez Associates (Lighting Design) on a new master plan to re-envision the malls’ landscapes, hardscapes, and lighting. The improved design will not only be visually compelling, it will also accommodate a range of uses, and raise the profile of this vital, neighborhood-based organization.
To initiate the design process, members of the Broadway Mall Association invited the design team to join them for a kickoff dinner and bus tour of all 93 malls that the group maintains. During this first look, BMA board members shared their aspirations for the project.
The design team returned to the malls to conduct in-depth analysis of existing conditions, paying special attention to circulation, user groups, and the needs of adjacent businesses. Based on that analysis and input from the kickoff meeting, the design team and the client identified key issues that their master plan will address. The team decided to create a prototypical mall design that can later be modified to suit the 12 existing mall layouts. This prototypical mall will integrate currently disjointed elements – the central planter, end beds, bench seating, waste bins, street lighting, and concrete traffic barriers – into a more unified whole. Recommendations will take into account the perspectives of moving pedestrians and vehicular passengers to improve the visibility of businesses on either side of the street. Concurrent with the design of a prototypical mall, the design team will also come up with a bold concept for transforming the entire 100-block length into a stunning ecological corridor.