Madoka Takagi. Long Island Railroad Yard from Queens Boulevard, Queens.1990. Platinum/Palladium print, 7 1/2 x 9 1/2" (19.1 x 24.2 cm). Gift of Jessica and Robert Solomon. © 2019 Madoka Takagi

The first in a two-part series convened by MoMA and MoMA PS1, this panel discussion will consider the myriad ways in which the infrastructural mechanisms of Long Island City, Queens, have been impacted by the rapid growth of New York City’s technology workforce. The media spectacle around Amazon’s announced entrée and sudden departure from the neighborhood has underscored the need for a broader conversation about Long Island City, its infrastructural circumstances, and its role within the infrastructure ecosystem of New York City. Much as these infrastructure-related conditions are particular to the vicinity, they are also in various ways emblematic of New York City’s present confrontations with the urban planning legacies of the past century.

Railways, traffic, ports and water systems, and schools are the physical and institutional mainstays of Long Island City infrastructure. A waterfront community, Long Island City has been redefined by the high rises and esplanade on its East River–facing coast over the past two decades. Yet the neighborhood is also bordered by other waterways that are less frequently associated with the vicinity’s continuing building boom but are nonetheless impacted by ongoing development, Newtown Creek chief among them. Declared a Superfund site in 2010 by the Environmental Protection Agency, the brook continues to suffer from extreme pollution and combined sewer overflow. How the impending redevelopment of Sunnyside Yards, one of the country’s largest rail yards, will impact the neighborhood’s matrix of civil infrastructures remains to be seen. All of these issues will be addressed in a discussion among a range of stakeholders in these ongoing developments.

Speakers include Elizabeth Lusskin, President, Long Island City Partnership; Jukay Hsu, Cofounder, Pursuit, and Vice Chair, Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector Board of Directors; and Juliette Michaelson, Executive Vice President, Regional Plan Association. The conversation will be moderated by Justin Garrett Moore, Executive Director, New York City Public Design Commission.

This event is free and open to everyone, but space is limited and a ticket is required. Tickets will be available on April 15, on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets can be reserved online.