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TOPIC: Fast Trash!


“Comparative Garbage Collection Strategy and Urban Planning”
Thursday, May 6, 6 - 9pm, Reception to follow.
NYU Wagner School of Public Service
295 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012

For Further information and to RSVP please contact:
Juliette Spertus, curator
Phone: 347-632-1775

“Comparative Garbage Collection Strategy and Urban Planning”
Moderated by Rosina Abramson, VP of Planning and Intergovernmental
Affairs, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC).

The panel will explore the decision making process around recent
installations of urban-scale pneumatic garbage collection systems
around the world, and open a dialogue around the role of garbage
collection in dense urban environments.

Confirmed Participants include:
-Richard Anderson, President, NY Building Congress.
-Suzanne Mattei, Director NY State Dept. of Environmental
Conservation, NYC office.
-Carlos Vazquez, technical director, department of sanitation, Barcelona.
-Mike Youkee, Chair Mayor’s advisory board on housing development, London.

The symposium is cosponsored by the Urban Planning Department, RIOC
and Envac, the Swedish manufacturer of RI’s system, in conjunction
with the exhibition.


EXHIBITION: “FAST TRASH: Roosevelt Island‘s Pneumatic Tubes and the Future of Cities”
April 22 - May 23, 2010
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 22, 6 - 9pm
RIVAA Gallery, 527 Main Street on Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island's idiosyncratic underground garbage disposal suggests
alternate futures for New York City's infrastructure.

New York, April 22, 2010—What if we radically changed the way we move
garbage through the city?

This is the question that independent curator Juliette Spertus and the
design firm Project Projects will answer in “FAST TRASH: Roosevelt
Island‘s Pneumatic Tubes and the Future of Cities,” an exhibition
about Roosevelt Island’s highly effective yet little-known underground
garbage collection system.

On Roosevelt Island—located in the East River between Manhattan and
Queens—there are no garbage bags on the sidewalks and no garbage
trucks. Instead, garbage is collected from its 14,000 inhabitants via
a retro-futuristic system of underground tubes. A computer empties the
trash chutes several times a day, whisking away the waste of the
Island’s residential towers, and zooming it through underground pipes
to a transfer station at one end of the island. There it is compacted,
sealed into containers, and loaded on a truck to join the rest of New
York City’s waste.

Part infrastructure portrait, part urban history, the exhibition
argues that service infrastructure plays a crucial role in cities and
is even capable of inspiring the collective imagination. Roosevelt
Island was designed in the late 1960s as a brand-new community where
technology and urban design would allow New Yorkers of all incomes to
enjoy the best of Manhattan without the nuisance of cars—or trash.
Often perceived as Manhattan’s quirky doppelganger, the exhibition
reveals Roosevelt Island to also be a groundbreaking case study for
the future, offering valuable insights into a community built around
progressive policies and technologies.

The exhibition explores the history of Roosevelt Island’s pneumatic
garbage system by tracing key events in the Island’s development
alongside milestones in New York City garbage collection and
alternative transport technologies. Brochures, advertisements, and
other ephemera from Roosevelt Island’s archives illustrate the themes
and the urban preoccupations of the 1970s. Photographs of the
engineers and technicians at work at Roosevelt Island’s facility and
video interviews create a portrait of one of the world’s early
pneumatic garbage systems, as it operates today.

The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) and students from Roosevelt
Island’s Child’s School (TCS) collaboratively produced visual
interpretations of the complex system to help Roosevelt Island
residents better understand how their garbage is collected.

Cities around the world, from Stockholm to Seoul, are taking note of
this technology because it takes trucks off the roads, easing
congestion and lowering emissions. By exploring Roosevelt Island’s
approach to infrastructure from a variety of angles we gain insight
into how cities choose infrastructure, and what this means for a
sustainable urban future.
i real of topic but this is awesome topic
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