Posts by jakeschabas:

Articles By: jake schabas

Jake Schabas, Writer-New York: Born in Toronto, Canada, Jake is a graduate student of urban planning at Columbia University and holds a B.A. from the University of King’s College in Contemporary Studies and English. He is increasingly entranced by New York City where he currently lives, especially its transportation. Jake is the co-founder of Spacing Atlantic, a contributing editor to Spacing Magazine, and is the editor of URBAN Magazine, Columbia University’s planning program magazine.

Welcome back to the Untapped Cities partnership with  Gehl Institute  in Copenhagen, looking at the impact of data, both open and collected, in the design of cities.

Copenhagen isn’t the only city in love with data. I don’t think anyone would call New York the happiest city in the world, but when it comes to innovation, an endless litany of press releases, non-profit reports and studies have for several years honed in on this city’s obsession with innovation. Whether it’s in government policies, infrastructure and programs, policies are usually far reaching and often carry political undertones–a key difference from Copenhagen’s more subtle and sensitive approaches.


Historic photo of No. 79 barge circa 1940s from David Sharps, Waterfront Museum

Untapped Cities is an official blog ambassador for  Partners  in  Preservation  , a community-based initiative by  American Express  and the  National Trust for Historic  Preservation  to raise awareness of the importance of historic places. Stay up-to-date with Untapped’s coverage of all 40 sites by following our  Partners  in  Preservation  category.

A relic of New York’s industrial heritage is parked near Manhattan’s most modern neighborhood. Framed by shining Battery Park City condos and Freedom Tower cranes, the wooden Lehigh Valley Railroad Barge No. 79 and Tug Pegasus docked at Pier 25 on the Hudson River present a striking contrast to today’s  city. Now operating as the Waterfront Museum, the No. 79 and Tug Pegasus are an anachronism, reflective of the Lighterage Era (1860-1960) – before metal shipping containers, when goods were transported in wooden barges from large ships to rail terminals on shore – that transformed New York City from merely the largest New World port to a 20th  century global metropolis. (more…)

[Update: Check out photographs from the new station, opened on September 13th, 2015]

This is the second feature in a series on the MTA’s three largest megaprojects: the Second Avenue Subway, #7 Line Extension and East Side Access construction projects.

The 7 Line extension is notable for many things. For one, the project is the foundation for one of the largest redevelopment projects in New York City’s history, known as the Hudson Yards Redevelopment. Secondly, the MTA isn’t paying a cent for its construction: all funds are coming through the City via the future property tax revenues that the Hudson Yards Redevelopment projects are expected to generate, a financing method known as tax increment financing (TIF). Thirdly, since New Jersey Governor Christie canceled the Access to the Region’s Core project (ARC), the #7 Line extension might one day evolve into the first underwater trans-Hudson connection between Manhattan and New Jersey to be built since the opening of the Lincoln Tunnel in 1937. (more…)

Over the next week, Untapped New York will be publishing a series on the MTA’s three megaprojects: the Second Avenue Subway, 7 Line Extension and East Side Access construction projects.

Few subway lines have a mythology to them like the 2nd Avenue Subway. The A Train has a jazz standard, the 7 Line has the ‘International Express’ nickname for passing through so many ethnic communities, but no subway line has so storied a history before even going into service.


The Brooklyn waterfront isn’t always the first borough that comes to mind when one thinks of paddling in New York City.  Kayaking and canoeing seem disproportionately concentrated in Manhattan aside from a few well-known outer-borough exceptions like the “Paddle the Bronx River” event.

Instead, Brooklyn’s most polluted post-industrial waterways like Newtown Creek or the recently ‘awarded’ superfund site around the Gowanus canal usually grab all the headlines. The free kayaking offered by Brooklyn Bridge Park last year aimed to change that perception by reconnecting the borough to its 30-mile waterfront.


It’s the most powerful address in New York City you’ve never heard of.   One false move and the entire city stops dead in its tracks. Not East 88th  and East End Avenue, the traditional home of New York’s mayor, or 11 Wall Street where profit-driven twenty and thirty-somethings play games with the world’s economy. Not even a certain stretch of Prospect Park West, where a vindictive former DOT commissioner and her Senator husband plot the destruction of one of the City’s most popular bike lanes.