Manufacturing Gowanus: Re-envisioning Industrial Sites as Productive Urban Landscapes

By Ting Chin.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 25, 2016 $US5.00

Post-industrial sites in urban areas have the potential to become productive landscapes that remediate the pollution found on the sites through the development, manufacturing, and use of new phytotechnologies rather than facilitating the conversion of these areas into gentrified service-oriented neighborhoods by capping or relocating the contamination. This study uses the Gowanus Canal and the surrounding neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, as an example of a large-scale infrastructural project that has long outlived its original purpose as a shipping canal serving defunct industries such as tanneries, coal stores, and manufactured gas plants and now has the potential to serve as the incubator for new industries that use the residual site contamination as a resource for the research and development of phytotechnologies. This project traces the Gowanus Canal as a manufacturing district that left behind what is now an EPA Superfund site and proposes a return to manufacturing that, instead of polluting the land, develops solutions for its remediation.

Keywords: Post-industrial Sites, Remediation, Productive Landscapes, Gowanus Canal, Phytotechnologies

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 7, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.19-31. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 25, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.292MB)).

Ting Chin

Assistant Professor, Department of Architectural Technology, New York City College of Technology, New York, NY, USA