Gowanus Canal

Brooklyn Tech Triangle

Newtown Creek

Freight Rails: In all three sites,the Canal in Gowanus, the creek in Newtown and the harbor at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the water access was the basis of creation for the robust manufacturing economy of New York city in the early 1900’s. This pairing of land and water, docks and warehouses rapidly became the most efficient and fastest way to export goods to the rest of the continental US through the then every expanding rail lines North, South and westward from the Northeast corridor. New York Central Rail line and the PRR laid their tracks from south sunset park up the navy yard and through Newtown Creek, by mid WWII the entire growth system had peaked. All sectors of industry worked at accelerated speeds day and night to support the war and the Brooklyn Navy yard became a centralized actor within that economy...

...But as the war came to an end so the did demand and industries. By the 1940’s the Holland Tunnel, George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln Tunnel had been completed and the growing infrastructure that freight trains required (such as electric propulsion) coupled with the lack of new direct tunnel lines from Brooklyn to New Jersey aided in its steady decline, consolidation, bankruptcy and eventually abandonment. Numerous sites have been reclaimed by the Real-estate machine to revitalized areas, but in fact creating more infrastructure burden through its pursuit of density. Major Trucking Routes: In a parallel upward flow, manufacturing left the city and the country caused by numerous factors such as, lower wages, lower operational costs and transportation costs and the demand for global transportation rose to match this demand. Various options and combination of transportation options and the birth of Intermodal shipping was supported by a series of simultaneous events...

...New technologies and new governmental policies coming at the end of WWII in steel and the construction of the containers themselves created efficient systems of stacking and tracking followed by the the Interstate Highway Act and Robert Moses’ dream of New York CIty being a city of cars paved the way for the current dependency we now have on trucking. To this day, the patterns and systems of travel run through the similar communities that the rail lines did, yet the constant contamination from unenforced regulations to curb emissions on commercial truck and the city’s own sanitation fleet (not to mention the rest of their truck fleet; firetrucks and parks and recreation vehicles to mention a couple) has negatively impacted the local and city-wide air quality and is suffocating the buffering neighborhoods.