SEQRA & NEPA IMPACT / ECONOMICS / FISCAL / PERMITTING / PLANNING

►Diligent, competent, equal-handed service, attention to detail, time and budgetary commitments, a versatile skill set, mediating standpoint and common sense judgment have been hallmarks of over 25 years in the planning profession.  

 

  • A wide range of environmental, land use planning, permitting, environmental and development advisory capabilities.  
  • Learn more about the practice in the Resume, and Services and Projects pages.
  • NYC, Westchester, Hudson Valley, Long Island and New Jersey

 

►Since 1987.

 

►An approach that seeks to provide value to every client and add value to every project.  

 

►Take a look at the list of municipal and private-sector clients on the Clients and Municipalities page. 

 

►Whether you are an attorney, architect or engineer, consultant or consulting firm, municipal official, developer or development professional, call us to discuss how we can help you reach your goals.

Services

►Can we do any of the following for you, your organization or agency?  

 

We can:

  • Work with applicants, property-owners, municipal officials, review boards & government agencies to address development issues. 
  • Prepare and review environmental and regulatory documents.
  • Perform reliable fiscal and economic analyses.
  • Coordinate the activities of other professionals.
  • Work with regulatory agencies to obtain permits and licenses, and changes to resource mapping.
  • Provide thoughtful, informative guidance for planning and development projects.  Focus efforts and make efficient use of limited resources. Develop thoughts and vet ideas.  Understand and articulate competing viewpoints.
  • Meet your time and budgetary commitments. 
  • Reduce the time needed to become familiar with NYS's new SEQRA forms.
  • Advocate for good planning, sound development, a greater range of options for current and future generations, and conservation of land and energy.
  • Evaluate a proposal or a plan.  
  • Identify needs, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats.  
  • Research, organize, evaluate and present complex information.

 

►For agency clients specifically, we can:

  • Assist with grant applications and administration
  • Work with and back up staff for planning & zoning administration
  • Free up staff time for other tasks
  • Organize and manage information and department activities
  • Review environmental documents such as EISs
  • Draft ordinances and code amendments
  • Preare, edit and revise policy documents
  • Prepare background studies and opportunities analyses
  • Meet with applicants and citizen committees
  • Work effectively with municipal staff and other consulting professionals
  • Mediate the interests of applicants, municipal and agency departments and staff, and board members
  • Develop the record for projects under review to support prudent, timely and substantiated decision-making.  

 

►Want to see what else we can do for you? Detailed information is in the Statement of Qualifications below.  See the Services and Projects pages for information on specific services and projects.  

 

►A quick snapshot of John Lynch's core competencies is provided in the skills-oriented resume below.  See the resume web-page for other resumes and additional information.  

Skills and Experience
John Lynch AICP Skills Resume.docx
Microsoft Word document [22.8 KB]
Statement of Qualifications
J Lynch Statement of Qualifications, Jul[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [2.4 MB]
View John Lynch's profile on LinkedIn

See below and the Interesting Ideas page for blogs, ideas and things that I like.

Westchester Municipal Planning Federation

INRIX Traffic Scorecard

Scenic Hudson's Sea Level Rise Mapper

"Bronx Irish at the Ramparts", 1984 documentary about changing northwest Bronx & Back in the Bronx presentation

PBS's "Visions of New York City"

NYC Channel 7 Eyewitness News Special: Climate Chaos

US Green Building Council -- Neighborhood Development Resources

Westchester County, New York Mapping / GIS Resources

NYS DEC Online Interactive Mapping

Look up your family in a 1940's phone book or just see pictures of the old neighborhood.   

Check out www.1940snewyork.com/

PlannersWeb web-site

City Limits

City Limits is a New York City-based non-profit that strengthens community engagement on civic, economic, and social justice issues. Since 1976, we’ve fulfilled our mission by publishing investigative journalism, documentary photography, creating new media and convening conversations that increase public awareness.  

Real Estate - Crain's New York Business News Feed

Manhattan Democrat to introduce pied-à-terre tax bill (Mon, 22 Sep 2014)
If Mayor Bill de Blasio pursues the Fiscal Policy Institute’s recommendation for higher taxes on ultraluxury apartments owned by foreigners, he’ll need Albany to do it. And Sen. Brad... To view the full story, click the title link.
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Williamsburg site trades for $35M (Mon, 22 Sep 2014)
The Brooklyn-based real estate investor and lender Alliance Private Capital Group has purchased a residential development site in Williamsburg for $35 million. The firm is buying a former parking... To view the full story, click the title link.
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Libraries' ancient archives (Mon, 22 Sep 2014)
To view the full story, click the title link.
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Brooklyn events company moves to Industry City (Mon, 22 Sep 2014)
Industry City just got another tenant. The growing complex, located in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, is leasing 38,000 square feet to nine-year-old event production company David Stark Design and... To view the full story, click the title link.
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Planitizen Web-Feed (Planning Related Articles Culled from the Web and Print Media)

http://eepurl.com/By7Ar

GOOD is the integrated media platform for people who want to live well and do good. We are a company and community for the people, businesses, and NGOs moving the world forward.

GOOD

The Landscape Artist (Mon, 22 Sep 2014)
To say that Daan Roosegaarde “thinks big” would surely be an understatement. The Dutch artist’s ambitious work marries existing systems in nature and technology, acting as a kind of adapter between the unpredictable and the futuristic. Take, for example, Roosegaarde’s most recent SMOG project in Beijing, a “vacuum” of copper coils that form an electrostatic field, attracting smog particles and creating a void of clean air. Or some of his related work with pollution, such as a ring made up of compressed smog particles. Even calling his work “art” at all feels a little strange when talking about design projects like Smart Highway, which paints road pavement with photoluminescent powder, reducing the need for street lamps; it also features special lanes that charge electric cars while they are driving. Roosegaarde has even proposed a way to harness the luminescent qualities of fireflies to create “glow-in-the-dark trees.”  Marine life, biomimicry, and glowing paint seem like unlikely and even far-fetched mediums for solving some of the world’s faulty design systems and environmental problems, but Roosegaarde believes that by spanning the gaps between aesthetic, natural, and technological advancement we can intuitively advance into a better and more efficient future. From Shanghai to the Netherlands (Roosegaarde’s bases of operation) and everywhere in between, the artist’s concepts offer cities and citizens innovative approaches to evolving landscapes—or, at the very least, a lot of food for thought.  Smart Highway Nature and technology seem like opposing forces, but you’ve managed to find a way to harness both in your projects. I was born in Netherlands, where we live under sea level. So in a way our whole landscape is already man- or woman-made. It’s because of the water management and dyke system and everything that we are able to survive. Every tree that you see here is therefore planted. So this relation between nature and technology is, I think, within the DNA of a country like the Netherlands already. I also see a lot of similarity between nature and how technology is evolving. I think of tech as a second language, as a second skin, and not to emphasize the George Orwell scenario where it dominates us and starts to limit our options as human beings, but more the Leonardo da Vinci scenario—where we learn how to fly, or where we inform ourselves about our health, or we can share our dreams. As we become more reliant on technology, does it seem we’re going back to nature to find solace? That’s the beauty of nature. You just want to surrender to something bigger than you, something that is out of your control. The natural element is where we let go somehow. You see that with technology as well. It becomes more proactive and more suggestive. Your Amazon says, “Hey, you just purchased this book; maybe you want to have this one as well.” It starts to think along with you, as your body. We’ll see where it takes us. Do you think about scenarios in which technology eventually takes over and we become victims of our own making? I think from day one, from you and I on the prairie, living in caves, we’ve always created things to explore life, to explore reality. We created fire to be warm, to share stories, to make food. We invented the wheel as an extension of our legs. We invented glasses as an extension of our eyes. We invented the laptop as an extension of our voice and of our brain, in a way. We’ve always tried to make things so personalized, to make the world understandable. I think it becomes doubtable when it gets too much a mind of its own, and we do not know who’s in control anymore. That’s exactly the phase we’re in. On the other hand, in the movie Her, you see that there’s a whole different scenario as well. We’re not looking at screens the whole time anymore; it becomes a part of us—you can fall in love with it. The environment is totally inconsistent and unreliable, yet you’ve chosen it as one the primary mediums in your work. You have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, but it’s more like a taste in your mouth, which you do not know the ingredients yet. That’s when you start to write, to read, to travel, to talk, to work together, to get other experts, to figure out. You make things, but the making also makes you. Like the Smog Rings came after we started to design the Smog Free Park, where the pollution, actually, the smog particles, were waste from the pilots we were doing. Then we suddenly realized we should not throw this away. Let’s use it to design with, as an ingredient. And so we started to compress it, and now we make the rings which, when you share one, you donate a thousand cubic meters of clean air to the city of Beijing. It’s transformed the project incredibly because suddenly people realize that they can be part of the solution, not just part of the problem. Suddenly they move from just being a taxpayer to a citizen, to a concerned citizen. And so it’s definitely not about technology—it’s about triggering new social interactions on a landscape level, to engage people with that, and sort of the whole notion of interactivity or openness. Whether it’s a Crystal, the crystals of light in the public space in Eindhoven, or the Dune, which follows you, or the Intimacy Dresses, or the Sustainable Dance Floor, which generates power when you dance on it, it always tries to make you aware of the relational network we are in. Sustainable dance floor You have offices in Shanghai and the Netherlands, and you split your time between the two. Home is where the laptop is, so to speak. The coming weeks are sort of focused on the new ideas, new projects. There’s a big public light artwork in Centraal Station in Amsterdam, a 15-by-45 meter sort of hologram light artwork at Schiphol, the airport. And we’re working on light-emitting trees, where we’re taking the luciferin from fireflies to see how we can merge them with a plant. We’re working on the light-emitting bicycle paths, a sort of special form of Smart Highway. There’s a lot about nature, a lot about technology, a lot about the future. And about poetry, to create things that trigger your imagination. Tell us more about the Smog Free Project in Beijing. It started with me in a room in Beijing on a high building looking at the city around me. On Monday, I could see the architecture, the people, and on Tuesday and Wednesday, it was completely covered with smog. So it was sort of veiled, this cover, which is poisonous and at the same time sort of sad, in a way. I realized that maybe this is my “ingredient.” As Van Gogh has his paint, maybe I have my smog particles. We started to see, how can we work with it, using the principle of static electricity to suck up smog, so we can play with it. Then we thought, let’s create a place, which is the cleanest spot in China, in Beijing. The notion of a public space where the absence of smog is the actual design. It’s not the solution, but it’s a sort of bottom-up approach, which I think is really important to trigger the creativity of people to solve big, big, big world problems. How did you get the support of the Chinese government for this? The Chinese president launched a “War on Smog” two or three years ago, with a $165 million program to get the city of Beijing smog-free. So, you’re right, five years ago this project would have never made the press. But they realize it’s a problem. They have to admit it’s not fog or sand dust, you know? It’s there to stay, and it’s not going to get better out of itself. You can say, “Drive less in a car,” but nobody’s going to do that. It’s China. They want to do more, not less. So what we say is, “Stop making an old system 10 percent less worse. Let’s start investing in the new world.”  How much are you concerned with the political climate when you propose projects around the world? When I present a radical project to a client in New York, in the USA, there’s a tendency to ask, “Are you sure you’ve done this before?” in terms of liability and all these kind of things. But when I present a project in China, they ask me, “Are you sure this is the first time?” because they want to be the first! But beyond that, there’s a whole cultural reference. For example, in Europe we grew up with the technological revolution. We moved from black-and-white television to color to LCD to plasma to HD to 3-D television. If you go to Seoul or to a certain place in China, it’s nothing, and then bam! It’s a 15 million person city. So they have a completely different emotional relationship and reference of the past, and therefore also of the future. We exhibited Dune in Slovenia, which was a dictatorship not so long ago. People were scared of Dune. Because when they grew up, the walls had ears, and they were spied on. And suddenly they had this piece, which was reacting to them and following them, and they were like, “Uh, this is—whoa!” But when we showed it in Hong Kong, the children in the city adapted it as their friend. They mimicked the sounds of Dune to communicate with each other. I imagine the Intimacy Dress would be received in various cultures in different ways. I was almost arrested in Kuala Lumpur. It’s a Muslim country. But if I take too much into consideration how people might be offended by what I do, then we can just stop and live in a cave again. We never do it intentionally. It’s not a provocation; it’s a proposal. Intimacy dress. What does “good” mean to you? The bad, but then updated. An updated badness. What did you think you’d first be when you grew up? I had no idea. I think I always had a desire to make things, tree huts, laying around in nature. I think when I was 16 I walked an entire museum for the first time. I saw these gigantic dark wooden models of squares and buildings and towers. That was the work of Arata Isozaki, a famous architect in Japan. That’s the first time I realized that what I was doing as a child, building stuff and exploring, was actually a profession. Nobody told me that before. What is something that you’ve failed at? You’ve got an hour? Reality’s brutal, harsh, and does not want to change. So in the beginning it was hard to let go, when you grow, when your ideas become so big you cannot do it alone. You have to let go and share control with other people and trust them to take care of your baby. So maybe the failure in the beginning was that there was too much control from my side, which limited in a way the growth and the exploration of the idea. What’s the best and worst advice you’ve ever received? The worst advice is when somebody says, “Stick to your expertise. Stick to your discipline.” That was one of the worst pieces of advice because it was limiting, instead of focusing and concentrating. The best one was, to really go for it, and to really invest in your dreams, and to always focus on the big picture. Yes, there will be people telling you it’s not possible, it cannot be done, or it already exists. It’s your job to sort of quietly, with love, ignore them. You can listen to them, but not too much. Do you have any words that you live by these days? We have a saying in the studio right now. We do the things MAYA: Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable. We’re always looking for the edge of what is and what is not possible, logically speaking. That’s because you want to talk about the future, but if you go too far, people get lost. And be the “hippie with a business plan.” Believe in your dreams, and at the same time create an environment where you can realize them. There will always be people telling you it’s not possible. But there’s a lot of beauty and a lot of bullshit, and one should realize that.
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What if Simply Playing Soccer Could Power a Whole Village? (Fri, 19 Sep 2014)
Photo coutesy of Love Green via Flickr Usually when a few soccer balls are donated to a rural Mexican town, it doesn’t warrant press coverage. Yet last March TV trucks rolled into Puebla state to watch the distribution of 150 new balls. The cameras were on hand because these were no Adidas or Nike products. These were Uncharted Play’s Soccket balls, built to turn the kinetic energy of play into electrical current. When enough charge is stored up, the ball can be used to power various electrical devices. Since rolling out last year, the Soccket ball has stirred up a great deal of interest, attracting the attention of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, among others, as a potentially powerful tool to bring light to regions of the world where power grids are unreliable or unavailable. Like most early technologies, Soccket is far from perfect—some accounts claim it’s quite buggy. But if comparable products tell us anything, those kinks may smooth out over the next few years, allowing Soccket to lead the way as yet another powerful off-the-grid tool for rural development. Soccket started out as a class project designed by four Harvard undergrads in 2008. When they first came up with the idea, local engineers and professors told them it would be impossible to make something equally lightweight, durable, functional, and mechanical, but the students barreled ahead, running their initial tests with a hamster ball. Eventually they settled on a system that uses a sliding magnetic slug. The magnet shunts back and forth inside a stabilized inductive coil within the ball, storing generated power in a capacitor. And so, these students created light—three hours of LED light for a quarter hour’s play, to be exact. After a little jiggering, they developed a fully kickable prototype, just a tad heavier than a FIFA regulation soccer ball, and brought it for testing at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In 2011, realizing the potential of their product, the friends founded Uncharted Play to develop and distribute the Soccket and other products. German television personality Jan Hahn and model Barbara Meier with the soccket Over the past three years, the foursome has made the Soccket deflation-proof, water resistant, and higher capacity. They’ve begun work on an electrifying jump rope and are toying with designs for an American football and skateboard as well. After successfully raising over half a million dollars on crowdfunding sites, they decided to scale up their production, aiming to manufacture at least 50,000 balls for distribution in Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and the United States. Realizing that the balls could target children for theft, the team now distributes them to schools in local communities, incentivizing attendance both for fun and for the potential to bring home an electrical charge at night. Light seems like such a small thing to those of us who can access it with the flip of a switch, but historically it’s the difference between night and day in terms of development. The advent of light, far from simply extending the amount of time a child can study, has historically correlated to massive jumps in a society’s productive capacity, and cheap electric light is the greatest jump of all. For the 1.3 billion people without access to electric light, even a simple technology like the Soccket, which isn’t nearly as reliable or high capacity as a power grid (or even an off-the-grid power generator), can make a serious difference in lifestyle. Photo coutesy of Uncharted Play Unfortunately, early reports claim that the Soccket does not last very long. A reporter visiting Puebla a year after the first 150 balls were distributed found only one functioning model, which flickered on and off. The remainder broke within months. Kickstarter supporters have also complained that their Socckets were shoddy or defective. Uncharted Play claims it is addressing these early design flaws and partner organizations have floated the idea of hosting local workshops on how to repair a ball, but it’s unclear whether or not these fixes will undue the negative press trailing a product that may have hit the ground too hard and too soon. Even if Uncharted Play does manage to fix the kinks, they face the hurdle of comparative cost for donors. Solar lamps have become incredibly cheap in recent years, retailing from $10 per cheap power-storing model to $45 for the most rugged and resistant. And a wide range of NGOs and corporations have already distributed hundreds of thousands of lamps around the world, even founding entrepreneurial programs by which locals sell lamps to families who are willing to pay a premium as they realize that solar will be, in the long term, far cheaper than traditional fuels. Compared to that, the Soccket retails for up to $99. Photo courtesy of Hammacher Schlemmer But the Soccket is an early technology, and precedent suggests that, given a few years, functionality will increase while costs plummet. Take the example of ice cream maker balls: Sold as far back as 2006 and based on older designs, these devices were billed as the gamification of the sometimes daunting process of home ice cream production. They used the agitation of physical motion to mix air into cream, milk, sugar, and flavorings, churning inside the ball and held against a compartment of ice and rock salt, so kids could play towards a rewarding treat. The only problem was the were heavy as hell, noisy, and delicate—they could not be kicked or dropped, only lightly rolled back and forth, and required great maintenance. And they only yielded two to four cups of ice cream, leading many children and parents to lose interest quickly. Eight years after the early models hit the market, homeware producer Hammacher Schlemmer introduced a new iteration this year, the Kickball Ice Cream Maker. Lightweight (2.5 pounds compared to the previous 9) and coated in soft rubber, the new model can be thrown, kicked, and used for full games of soccer without suffering defects. And it retails for under $35. Granted, agitating cream is a far easier task than creating light. But experimentation, feedback, and development in gamified ice cream makers led to durability and cost efficiency. So we have every reason to hope that, with time and effort, the Soccket and its successor products will follow suit. And when they do, they’ll provide a much more secure, universal, and entertaining source of light and energy than meteorologically-limited solar panels.
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Next Time You're at a Pretentious Exhibition, Just Change It (Fri, 19 Sep 2014)
Neil M. Denari Architects, Corrugated Duct House, 1998 “If you exclude architects, it’s not architecture,” says Güvenç Özel. It’s a sunny Tuesday morning, and we’re sitting in the UCLA IDEAS Lab, a large university-owned warehouse on the west side of Los Angeles. Özel is the lab’s Technology Director. The concept, he explains regarding his latest project, “Project Source Code,” came from being in Venice and seeing the 14th International Venice Architecture Biennale’s Rem Koolhaas-curated exhibition, Fundamentals. The conceit of the show, Koolhaas states, is focusing on “architecture, not architects.” Koolhaas features the basic “elements” of architecture—the window, the balcony, the toilet, the fireplace, the escalator, the elevator, et cetera. But no architects. Which, to Özel, means no architects except Koolhaas, who organized the show. Put his name on it. Designed it. The pretension of excluding architects gives the show a flat, impersonal feel, as if these tools of humanity weren’t created by humanity. Özel also found other faults in the show. For instance, why were escalators a “fundamental element of architecture”? And why were they separate from stairs? But most importantly, Özel found fault with the omission of digital architecture. Nearly all architects today create models and simulations digitally. Is this not also a fundamental element of architecture? Today, 3-D models are nearly as common as the real thing. Go to a car manufacturer’s site to watch the promotional video detailing the design of the vehicle, or check out the plans for any new building being erected in the downtown of your city. 3-D architecture is not only publicity; it’s behind nearly every building or designed object in the 21st century. And not only that, but architects can play within the programs, creating that which might seem like impossibilities now, or open a dialogue as to what is possible in the future. Left to right: Ivan Sutherland, The VW Beetle Shell, 1967. Martin Newell, The Utah Teapot, 1975 Özel decided to stage an intervention within the exhibition. But how? Özel grins. He has me download an app called Augment. The basic idea of Augment, one of many current augmented reality apps, is that you can scan objects with the app, which indexes them for later use. Then other users that have downloaded Augment can walk into a room, open the app, and point their phone at the indexed objects, enabling them to view a digital object in front of it. Using this app, Özel, who achieved a certain amount of fame with his “Cerebral Hut” project from 2012, decided to re-curate the show with historic and influential pieces of digital architecture. To do this, Özel had to get creative. He brought a backpack full of equipment into the Biennale and scanned the entire Koolhaas exhibition with the app. Özel wandered the exhibit with an iPad, a computer, and a cellphone, to the mild bewilderment of guards. Özel is the kind of quiet, fumbling 30-something that uses a computer as an extension of his being, so most of the guards didn’t even notice, but the ones that did were even more perplexed. “I’m just measuring,” he would tell them. But since he didn’t touch anything, and didn’t seem to be doing anything wrong, they left him alone. Oosterhuis_Lénárd, Saltwater Pavilion, 1997 After scanning the space, Özel decided upon the six seminal pieces of digital architecture to alter the show—everything Koolhaas left out. For instance, Ivan Sutherland’s “The VW Beetle Shell” from 1968, and Martin Newell’s “The Utah Teapot” from 1975, two early instances of how material objects were translated into the digital realm, are on display in front of the introductory text to the Koolhaas exhibition. Or on the left wall of the Balcony Gallery is Greg Lynn’s 1997 “Embryological House,” a digital case study of an animated home design—allowing for an infinite number of possible designs—that caused waves in the architecture community when it was designed. Roberge, Rudy, Hoffman, Koebel, Spreebogen Master Plan, 1993 Özel recognizes that the Biennale organizers might not appreciate the “Project Source Code” hack. But to him, that’s just an interesting by-product of the project. “How do you regulate digital space?” he says, raising his eyebrows. “In a way, it makes the digital more real, because if you have to make legislation about it, it becomes as real as anything.” Asymptote Architecture, Virtual Trading Floor, 1999 Which is really the whole point of the exercise. By critiquing the old guard and relating objects that exist natively in the digital realm to spaces in the physical world, Özel is generously seeking to blur the line between what is physical and what is digital, arguing that they are both “real.” Greg Lynn FORM, Embryological House, 1997
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A Mosaic Shines in Philly (Fri, 19 Sep 2014)
PHILADELPHIA - The South Street district is a gritty, disheveled, and jaggedly beautiful area in Philadelphia. Filled with artist’s studios, bohemian hangouts, and eclectic boutiques, South Street has long been a bastion of counterculture, a haven for those who do not fit into mainstream society and go against the grain of the status quo. Driving around this eclectic neighborhood, it is apparent that a main fixture of South Street is the glittering mosaics by artist Isaiah Zagar. Zagar’s mosaic murals, often covering entire buildings in shattered glass, ceramic, and mirror, are metaphysical windows into a world of creativity; they synthesize the history of art and the international folk art communities into a uniquely beautiful visual statement that is all at once a reflection of Zagar’s surroundings and his imagination. Well into his 70s, Zagar is a tall slip of a man, with a white beard, tanned skin, and a warm voice soaked in a heavy Brooklyn accent. Though Zagar spent a good portion of his life in Brooklyn, he is a native son of Philadelphia. Zagar had an interest in the visual arts from an early point in his life attending the renowned Pratt Institute. Zagar had a traditional arts education, one steeped in the study of art history, classical composition, and traditional mediums of expression. It was at age 19 that Zagar had an epiphanic moment in the arch of his understanding of what art is and could be. Discovering the folk art, assemblage installations of Clarence Schmidt in Woodstock, New York, Zagar realized that there were mediums, methodologies, and concepts beyond the confines of a canvas or a sculpture’s plinth that could be explored. Following his graduation from Pratt in the mid-1960s, Zagar and his wife Julia participated in the Peace Corps in Peru, working with local artisans to instrumentalize their craftwork to generate income. This time Peru left an indelible mark on Zagar, and continues to influence his artistic practice to this day.   Returning from South America in 1968, Zagar and his wife settled back in Philadelphia. They had a goal, a dream to establish an arts community in Philadelphia, one that would foster creativity, breed ideas, and serve as a mecca for young artists, thinkers, and makers. Thus, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens were born. “We marshaled our skills, my energy and [my wife Julia’s] energy, and we started both a gallery and a movement on South Street,” said Zagar. The South Street neighborhood has been transformed by Zagar and his fellow artists; what was once a neighborhood slated for demolition to make way for a new expressway, is now a fantastical maze of mirrored buildings, mosaic alleyways, and tiled walkways. The influence of the neighborhood has been very powerful in the visual influence of Zagar’s work. “I’m in awe every time I walk out in the street…the magic of the street,” remarked Zagar. “South Street has influenced me as much as I’ve influenced South Street.” The gardens and art projects on South Street have been expanding and evolving over the past four decades, building on the idea of the artist’s collective – bringing in various artists from around the city and around the world to participate, with Zagar at the helm. It is Zagar’s fervent love of the Philadelphia he drives through daily, marveling at its unique neighborhoods, which fueled his interest in being a part of the GOOD Cities Project, in collaboration with Ford. To have the chance to illuminate the South Street area through his unique perspective via art and share that perspective on a large scale was an opportunity Zagar did not wish to pass up. The piece Zagar is creating for the GOOD Cities project blends all elements of his practice, mosaic, community involvement, and a love for a city that he has made a commitment to and that has made a commitment to him in return.  Stay tuned to the GOOD Cities Project homepage in November, where Isaiah Zagar's visual love letter to Philadelphia will be exhibited. And, if you're in the Philadelphia area in November, keep an eye out to see his work exhibited on local billboards.  Advertisement
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ArtPlace Archived Articles -- Creative Placemaking

Forgotten NY

Ephemeral New York

Contact:

John J. Lynch AICP
14 Spring Street
Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706


Phone:  914 478 0800

 

333 Pearl Street

New York, NY 10038

 

Mobile:  917 647 2855

 

E-mail:

Volleyurb@aol.com

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