A NEW GUIDE TO BALANCING MOBILITY AND HUMANITY ON MAIN STREET
Case Studies 

Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

*Nominee 

Empire State Plaza

Albany

NY

USA

Contributed by 
Jon Winslow
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
October 22, 2004
December 14, 2017

This plaza is so out of scale it could *almost* make Boston's City Hall & Plaza look good.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

This Government Center for the State of New York is one of the largest urban renewal projects ever in US. It is Le Corbusier's vision of the modern city and the antithesis of urbanism. An enormous elevated plaza the size of an airport runway surrounded by many identical 1960s high rises plus an egg shaped building. A freeway runs under the plaza. If thatÍs not bad enough, it leveled almost 100 acres of historic urban neighborhoods and cost $1 billion in 1974 dollars.

Access & Linkages

This is an empty, wind swept plaza with no human scale what-so-ever.

Comfort & Image

The plaza is made completely of hard surfaces, has very few places to sit, ugly architecture, and most of all, an out of scale feeling.

Uses & Activities

The only use for the plaza is walking from point A to point B.

Sociability

There is no way you could meet anyone here because (1) it is so inhospitable, and (2) so large you wouldnÍt be able to find them.

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Related Links & Sources

Empire State Plaza
Empire State Plaza
Empire State Plaza
Empire State Plaza
Empire State Plaza
Empire State Plaza
Empire State Plaza
Empire State Plaza

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

NOMINATE A PLACE

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A NEW GUIDE TO BALANCING MOBILITY AND HUMANITY ON MAIN STREET