Green NYC! A biking tour of the Big Green Apple
Take a Green Tour of NYC and learn about the Green Apple! From Central Park – the first true green space in New York City , to rooftop gardens to LEED-certified buildings to Community spaces in the Lower East Side to a roll across the Brooklyn Bridge and a visit to the brand new Brooklyn Bridge Park! This tour explains how our once congestion-spewing, immigrant crowded city is once again discovering its environmentally friendly roots. Tour takes place on bike!
The tour starts at Columbus Circle, under the USS Maine Memorial. Once happily secured on our trusty two-wheeled steeds, we will visit NYC’s first “green” certified skyscraper, the Hearst Tower, at 8th avenue and 57th street. A remarkable building, started in 1929 and stopped a short six stories later due to the Great Depression; the construction was put on hold til 2003 and finished in 2006! With the facade landmarked, the Hearst corporation sleeved an amazing diagrid glass skyscraper into the structure that adheres to environmentally friendly details including: heat-conductive limestone built into the lobby floor; rainwater collected on its roof recycled into basement cooling tanks; and 85% of the structural steel was made with recycled metals.
The Greensward Plan, courtesy of NYCParks.gov
Then we will roll on bikes into Central Park, the world’s first naturalistically designed piece of manmade nature. A quick cross-park jaunt will bring us to the Central Park Arsenal, built from 1847 to 1851 and now home to the HQ of the NYC Parks Department. We will get to visit the simply mind-boggling original Greensward Plan for the design and layout of Central Park (its 10 feet long!) and, weather permitting, the rooftop garden on the roof of the Arsenal.
All People’s Gardens, courtesy of GrowNYC.org
Then its downtown to some of the original Community Gardens of the Lower East Side. In particular, two gardens in the East Village that were founded in 1979 – All People’s Garden and the Creative Little Garden. Listen to your tour guide / urban historian explain the importance of these people-first projects that enabled local community groups reclaim drug-scarred city blocks and make them safe for children and families.
Lastly, we’ll roll across the Brooklyn Bridge into downtown Brooklyn and we’ll visit the newest park in NYC, the stunning Brooklyn Bridge Park. There, you’ll learn about how new forms of green-architecture can help transform derelict waterfront shipping spaces into new promenades for families and visitors, all while decreasing a carbon footprint and making our city sustainable for all!