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Press Release #022-01
Tuesday, December 18, 2001

CONTACT: Public Affairs Officer: (212) 720-3471


Fresh Kills Landfill Closer to Becoming Remarkable Asset to New York City and the Region

The Department of City Planning announced today the winners of the international design competition to develop a master plan and design vision for the future of Fresh Kills. The winning proposal was submitted by Field Operations, a landscape architecture and urban design firm headed by James Corner and Stan Allen, based in Philadelphia and New York. Field Operations collaborated with a team of leading creative and technical consultants, including firms specializing in landfill engineering, environmental and transportation engineering, ecological scientists, and economists to create a vision of a park that fulfills the active recreational needs of Staten Islanders while protecting and restoring the valuable and delicate natural ecology. The winning plan also reserves the area now being used to receive the wreckage of the World Trade Center for a significant memorial to the heroes and victims of September 11th.

The competition, "Landfill to Landscape", solicited entries from multi-disciplinary design teams from around the world to give Staten Island and the City the benefit of the widest range of insight, creativity, and technical expertise in planning for the extraordinary opportunity presented by the closing of the landfill. Of the almost 50 entries, six finalists were paid to submit more detailed and technically explicit proposals. Since the competition also served as the initial stage of the City procurement process, the three top teams are eligible to be retained by the City to prepare an official master plan.

"LIFESCAPE", the winning proposal, begins with several recreation areas located adjacent to the surrounding neighborhoods of Travis and Arden Heights, and then gradually expands the public uses through the rest of the site while creating a natural reserve of substantial forests and wetlands. Ultimately, the plan contemplates a golf course, bicycling and pedestrian paths, equestrian center, athletic fields, and an environmental education center.

The award winning jury included internationally renowned professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape design, and environmental sciences, as well as senior public officials with detailed knowledge of the Fresh Kills site. They are: Laurie Olin, FASLA; Angela Danadjieva, UIA; Charles Gwathmey, FAIA; Dr. Phil Shaw, Ecologist; Eamon Moynihan, Deputy Secretary of State; Joel A. Miele, PE, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection; Thomas Paulo, Staten Island Borough Parks Commissioner; and Joseph B. Rose, Chairman of the City Planning Commission. The jury was assisted by Professional Advisors William Liskamm, FAIA and Gavin Keeney, MLA, and also received technical support from a panel of city and state agency staff. Extensive community outreach throughout the competition assured an understanding of and attention to the hopes and concerns of Staten Island neighborhoods.

Planning Commission Chairman Joseph B. Rose stated, "We are thrilled with the success of this competition. The Field Operations proposal was clearly the most responsive to the community input, sensitive to the ecology of Fresh Kills, and attuned to the site's potential for great beauty. All of the entries indicated careful thought and an immense amount of work which will be of great value to the City as we work to transform Fresh Kills from a blight to a treasured ecological and recreational resource. We are deeply appreciative of the dedication of the internationally renowned professionals who designed and judged these submissions."

The second and third place teams were JMP Landscape and John McAslan & Partners (London, England), and RIOS Associates (Los Angeles, CA), who also submitted exciting visions for Fresh Kills.

"This can be the most significant park-building endeavor New York City has undertaken in over a century," said Kent Barwick, President of the Municipal Art Society. "Fresh Kills Landfill is so massive it is visible from space. With the strength of these finalists' visions, we have the momentum needed to turn this brownfield into a remarkable place of scenic grandeur, abundant wildlife and plentiful recreation."

The competition was sponsored by the City of New York Departments of City Planning, Sanitation, Cultural Affairs, and Parks and Recreation, and the Municipal Art Society, a non-profit organization that promotes excellence in urban planning and preservation. The City is aided in this effort with partial funding by the New York State Department of State under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund.

For more information about the competition and the proposals, please see the City's website at:

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