Sheds Will Roll

New York’s ubiquitous sidewalk sheds are poised to receive a much-needed makeover this fall.

Today, the New York Department of Buildings and the city’s local AIA chapter announced the urbanSHED International Design Competition. Open to architects, engineers, planners, and students worldwide, the competition will reward the best redesign of city sidewalk sheds–the temporary structures that are erected over sidewalks to protect passersby from overhead construction detritus. Last month, the Wall Street Journal estimated that there are between 4,000 and 6,000 of the sheds in New York–and, based on our walks around the city, we can estimate that between 3,999 and 5,999 of them are ugly, confining mazes that do little to inspire confidence in pedestrians. Finalists will be selected in October, and a prototype of the winning design, chosen in December, will be constructed at a work site downtown. We can’t wait.

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