The Design Trust for Public Space selects five urban fellows to enhance Staten Island's North Shore

Island Life

The Design Trust for Public Space selects five urban fellows to enhance Staten Island's North Shore

SHoP's Empire Outlets under construction on the St. George waterfront. (Courtesy SHoP)

In Manhattan, designer’s eyes are moving south, towards the North Shore: The Design Trust for Public Space and Staten Island Arts have teamed up to select five urbanists to work with stakeholders on northern Staten Island to investigate how art and culture can enhance public- and privately-owned open space in the fast-developing area.

The urbanists—Lisa Dahl, a Staten Island–based artist; Ben Margolis, urban policy expert; Margie Ruddick, landscape and urban designer; John Schettino, graphic designer, and Gareth Smit, photojournalist—are Design Trust fellows who will work with residents and local artists to collaborate on community engagement, design, and research for Future Culture: Connecting Staten Island’s Waterfronta multi-year initiative that investigates the changing North Shore.

Those changes are coming swiftly. The program responds to big changes emerging on the North Shore. This year, Stapleton’s URBY opened its doors to residents, who can partake in cooking classes at the development’s shared kitchen or glean agriculture knowledge from its on-staff farmerNew parks and street connections will integrate the formerly industrial Stapleton waterfront with its neighborhood, and development around the St. George ferry terminal, including S9‘s New York Wheel and SHoP‘s Empire Outlets, are set to draw thousands of visitors to the North Shore.

The fellows will test programming and design recommendations with public art pilots, and will author quarterly newsletters for St. George, Tompkinsville, and Stapleton residents to solicit input on projects and keep them appraised of the findings. The fellows’ work will culminate in a plan that can guide strategies for equitable economic development, and revitalization that locks in the community’s social, ethnic, and economic diversity long-term.