Urban environments are becoming overly reliant on automobiles. But the use of landscaped, elevated thoroughfares that encourage foot travel instead can reduce congestion and improve the overall experience of urban life. Across the world, cities have transformed underused roadways and abandoned railroad spurs into lively pedestrian walkways, stimulating development in adjacent neighborhoods and ushering in a new era of linear-park design. Although usually created for public recreation, these elevated urban pathways increasingly show potential, when properly designed, to become a preferred mode of daily transit for commuters as well.
For this reason the publishers of Metals in Construction have selected a pedestrian bridge as the subject of the magazine’s 2019 Design Challenge. The competition asks architects, engineers, and students to design a span that connects the transportation hub of the newly adapted Moynihan Train Hall with Hudson Yards, the city’s largest development since Rockefeller Center—and the destination for a projected 100,000 people walking to their offices there from the rail station each day.
Entrants are asked to submit their vision for a bridge of structural steel construction that navigates efficiently between the two sites for those traveling by foot, spanning the activity below with a minimum of interruption and a maximum of transparency. A distinguished jury of architects and engineers will award the $15,000 grand prize to the design judged best at delivering multimodal connectivity while becoming an iconic wayfinding landmark unto itself.