Culture Magazine

A World’s Fair for a World That’s Permanently Fair @3QD

By Bbenzon @bbenzon
I’ve got a new piece up at 3 Quarks Daily: World Island: Zeal Means Hope [The World’s Got Talent]. It’s about my friend, Jerry Greenberg, who now goes by “Zeal”, and his project to create a World Island, as he calls it, “a world’s fair for a world that’s permanently fair.” It was a wonderful quixotic idea, a $25 billion dollar city-within-a-city dedicated to peace and human flourishing. It was to be located on Governors Island, 172 acres in New York Harbor a quarter of a mill off the tip of Manhattan and only 100s of yards from Red Hook, Brooklyn.
The article tells the story of what happened between the time we meet in 2003 or 2004 and the time we had to deliver a proposal to locate World Island on Governors Island. The agency in charge of the island, GIPEC (Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation) was holding a competition for proposals. The proposals were due May 10, 2010. We made the deadline, with 5 minutes to spare.
Our proposal wasn’t accepted. No proposals were. I continued to work with Jerry on other locations for the project, Sierra Leone, and Athens, Greece were looking good at various times, and with other projects, such as WISE, World Investment Summit/Exposition. But this isn’t about that.
It’s about something else, about Jerry’s influence on others. He’s worked with a handful of people quite closely on these various projects, a very large handful. But he’s met 1000s of others and worked with some of them for a bit. How’d he change their lives?

database

Zeal's database system

In my own case, in November of 2007, a year and a half after the Governors Island proposal, I wrote a document, Jersey City: From a Skate Park to the World, and posted it to the web. I told that story in a post, How I Found a Home in Jersey City and Got Steve Fulop Elected Mayor, Part 3. That part about electing the mayor, that’s a bit tongue in cheek; but I did give a copy of that report to Fulop. It was about a park project, a two-and-a-half mile cultural corridor, through the middle of Jersey City. I figured it would cost a quarter to half a billion dollars, much cheaper than World Island, and would transform the city. Here’s the executive summary.
Jersey City has an unparalleled opportunity for developing park space and cultural amenities in a two-mile corridor running from the Powerhouse Arts District in the East, along the Sixth Street Embankment to the Palisades, then up the River Line to the Bergen Tunnel, and west through the Erie Cut-Bergen Arches to JFK Boulevard. What is unique about this strategy is that is builds on both abandoned railroad properties and on Jersey City’s status as a center for graffiti art of the highest caliber. By capitalizing on its graffiti heritage, Jersey City can attract tourists from around the world and establish itself as an international center of cutting-edge art.
This development strategy includes three park-garden areas: 1) Sixth Street Embankment, 2) River Line Walk, and 3) Erie Cut. A skate park is already being planned for the River Line Walk area. At full development the Erie Cut would have a series of small gardens in various national styles – Indian, Chinese, Spanish, etc. – and a conservatory linking the bottom of the cut to the street-level surface(Route 139). There would also be two modest museum complexes: 1) a graffiti museum at 12th and Monmouth, and 2) a railroad museum nearby at the Bergen Tunnel. These complexes would include restaurants and shops.
A thumbnail calculation indicates that these developments could bring new tourist revenue to the city in the amount $36 to $90 million (or more) annually. Other benefits include increased property values along the corridor and new businesses.
Crazy a way – where’s the quarter to half billion construction costs going to come from? – but not so crazy. It was a vision for the future, not a concrete plan. Visions work indirectly.
A couple years later I gave a copy of that report to Greg Edgell. Since then he and I, along with dozens of others, have been working on it in one way or another. We worked with June Jones (Morris Canal CDC) and skateboarders to get the city to agree to build a skate park, albeit in a different place from the one proposed in that report. More recently we started The Bergen Arches Project, which aims to complete another aspect of that proposal, and at a much lower cost.
The vision I projected in that report is thus coming to life. I wouldn’t have written it if I hadn’t spent two or three years working on the World Island project with Zeal.
Ideas have influences. Visions have consequences. Such is the way of the world.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Big Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy in China

    Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy China

    Coca-Cola is at it again. As soda sales decline in the United States and Europe, beverage companies look to emerging economies like China for growth. And, it... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Jewellery for a Precious You

    Jewellery Precious

    Jewellery is always close to a woman’s heart. It completes her look and boost confidence. Considering the changing trends in jewellery fashion, it becomes... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
    LIFESTYLE
  • Rajshri Productions’ Next Is A Film On Friendship | Hum Chaar | Trailer

    Abhishek Dixit’s debut feature film Hum Chaar is a Bollywood film made under the banner of Rajshri’s film. Hum Chaar is written and directed by Abhishek Dixit. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Saint Paul the First Hermit

    Saint Paul First Hermit

    Today is the feast day of Saint Paul the hermit. This is a sweet and delicate Oatmeal Bread topped with rolled oats and naturally sweetened with agave. Saint... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Veronica46
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu | Teaser | Pranav Mohanlal | Arun Gopy

    Arun Gopy’s Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu is an upcoming Malayalam action-drama feature film starring Pranav Mohanlal and Zaya David in the lead roles. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • A Year Of Body Positivity

    Year Body Positivity

    Last January, as I sat there on New Years eve all set to make the same old resolutions I've made year after year for as long as I can remember, I realised how... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Sparklesandstretchmarks
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Jan 2019

    Garden Bloggers Bloom 2019

    Euphorbia rigidaWhen I went out to take the photos for this blog post I was surprised at how much was in flower dotted around the garden. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Patientgardener
    GARDENING, HOME