West 8, a leading urban design & landscape architecture practice in Rotterdam, Netherlands has recently led a winning team in the design competition to transform Governors Island in New York into a major new park. This announcement was made by New York City mayor Bloomberg and New York State governor Spitzer on 19 December 2007.
The plan is to recreate Governors Island into an extraordinary park that embraces what New York Harbor encompasses: ecology, history, culture and beauty. Everybody knows New York City’s Central Park. Now Governors Island will become its “Un-central Park”.
Not only are the park plans lovely, the proposed shared wooden bicycles are too. Much like the white bicycles that are free to use in the beautiful Hoge Veluwe Park in the Netherlands (see below photos of the white bikes and wooden bikes in similar racks) Governors Island will have NO automobiles and feature simple wooden bicycles for visitors to use as needed. Making the bicycles from wood not only makes them charming. It also discourages theft. Stealing the wooden bikes won’t be easy anyway since the island is only accessible by ferry.
Governors Island has had a rich history dating back to the period when New Amsterdam was a Dutch colony, a fact probably not missed by either West 8 or the jury panel. That the Dutch have extensive experience with this type shared bicycle use certainly didn’t harm their proposal.
In case you’re not familiar with Governors Island: It is situated near the mouth of the East River between Manhattan and Queens, and is technically within the borders of Manhattan. Since its essentially in New York Harbor the Statue of Liberty is within view.
Here is more information about Governors Island from:
West 8: A brief history of Governors Island
Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation
Wikipedia: Governors Island