Public Art New York

Jean Parker Phifer, author and Francis Dzikowski, photographer have published a useful and inspiring guide to permanent public art in NYC.

Light Projects’ illumination of the Coney Island Parachute Jump is presented with a beautiful magic-hour photograph.

…the iridescent lighting keyed to the seasons of the year and to special holidays has renewed the neighborhood’s appreciation of its delightful and colorful past.

The project brings renewed focus and artful celebration to a previously neglected remnant of recreational infrastructure.

The book is located in bookstores near you or on Amazon.

iGuzzini factory near Ancona, Italy

iGuzzini factory near Ancona, Italy

The iGuzzini lighting factory is set near the Adriatic sea, tucked into a composition of small villages, towns and pastures. 

In March, a group of North American lighting designers and representatives were hosted by iGuzzini and Sistemalux – for a week in Ancona and Roma, Italy.  Our hosts were generous, and the visit was high-spirited, informative and luscious. When we arrived at the factory our host declared,

Italians think sideways. We deviate from rationale thinking…

and went on to tell us about the newly designed LED street light: Archiled.

ENELEnel SpA, Italy’s largest utility has contracted with iGuzzini to develop optics for LED streetlights to replace metal halide, mercury vapor and high-pressure sodium -based street lighting. The engineers and designers developed a patented solution – which began with a curve calculation that would use least energy for innovative public lighting.

Archiled on display

Archiled on display

The cobrahead-style streetlight head contains an 84-watt array of LEDs (106-watts total) comparable to the light output of a 150 watt HID source.  Characteristics include Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 80, a patented thermal management system, an integrated fin design to optimize the thermal management, and replaceable ballast.

Archiled has four  default operating modes which reduce the power and the light output of the fittings according to the selected profiles. Besides the default operating modes, customized scenes and profiles can be programmed using a dedicated software.

The products will be on the worldwide market for 2010 and iGuzzini expects orders of 40,000 pieces per year.

Public lighting is increasingly recognized by new theory, science, practice and as a distinctive market.  The outdoor lighting fixture industry is in an overheated race to blend new street lighting fixtures with energy-saving and sustainable characteristics.

LED is the source of choice and the number of cities testing LED street lighting is multiplying.  ( See “More cities tap stimulus package for LED streetlights” USA Today March 3, 2009, “At least 30 cities have asked for more than $104 million in federal stimulus funds to help them make the change.”)

My company, Light Projects, is currently reviewing a new LED  streetlight for the municipality known as New York City.

Javits Convention CenterThere was huge attendance at Javits Center for a “meet and greet” with New York State agencies including NYS-DOT, MTA, PANYNJ, construction companies and professional organizations. The main objective was to  get tips on M/WBE programs [ Minority and Woman -owned Business Enterprises] and DBE [Disadvantaged Business Enterprise – “small business”] programs to continue ensure qualification for infrastructure projects.  Leni Schwendinger Light Projects is a registered WBE, but we wanted to learn about DBE , which will allow smoother entré into federal or state projects with federal funding.   Thankfully there is a New York State Unified Certification Program which allows for one certification application , which is honored by all other DBE certifying state agencies that receive funds from the United States Department of Transportation.

The visiting agencies were very helpful with the certification forms.  Additionally, we visited with MTA/LIRR and learned about the GEC (General Engineer Contracts), which is a pre-qualified list for MTA work and discussed issues of public sector projects with other W/M/D BE business owners and contractors.  We spoke with the dynamic and enthusiastic Women Builders Council representatives. The Council provides advocacy, mentoring, capacity building, procurement opportunities and best practices.
Organizing Agencies:
• New York State Department of Transportation – NYSDOT
• Empire State Development Corporation – ESDC
• Port Authority of New York/New Jersey – PANYNJ
• Federal Highway Administration – FHWA

Supporting Organizations:
• General Contractors Association of New York – GCA/NY
• Long Island Contractors Association, Inc – LICA
• The Associated General Contractors of New York State – AGC/NY
• General Building Contractors of New York State – GBC/NYS
• Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley – CIC
• New York Roadway Improvement Coalition – NYRIC
• American Council of Engineering Companies of New York – ACEC
• Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York – MTA
• US Dept of Commerce – Minority Business Development Agency
• US DOT – Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization
• Regional Alliance for Small Contractors
• Women Builders Council, Inc
• Jamaica Business Resource Center
• Conference of Minority Transportation Officials
Partners:
• Association of Minority Enterprises of New York
• National Hispanic Business Group
• Asian Women in Business
• Professional Women in Construction
• New York State Minority Contractors Association
• Minority Contractors Association of New York

Greater New York Construction User Council Panelists: Jason Bram (economist, Federal Reserve Bank of New York), Seth Pinsky (President, New York City Economic Development Corporation – NYCEDC), Elliot Sander (Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority – MTA), Christopher O. Ward (Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – PANYNJ)

The event was very well attended. Each panelist opened by explaining construction and budget issues during the next period. The real-estate blog GreenPearl covers these facts and figures.

Mr. Sander brought along a rail marker signal; “my friend Mike”, and explained that the signal systems have to be upgraded and that they are doing so for the Number 7 line and Queen’s Plaza. In regards to technology and innovation, he said that when the engineers first removed this, the standard signal, they assumed that it was manufactured in the 1930’s, and it may have been, but it was revelatory when they looked at the engraved patent label, it said 1912!

My contribution was to ask about the importance of aesthetics and innovation in infrastructure developments during the Q&A. Chris Ward cited the concept of “creative cities” and how aesthetics add value to the urban environment. He opined that “engineering and aesthetics can create new models”. And reminded the audience that Christo’s Central Park “The Gates” brought record revenues into NYC. Mr. Ward noted that it was a “balancing act” – “expense versus look and feel” of a in terms of infrastructural projects.

On the question of sustainability and how the agencies were applying these principles to infrastructure, Mr. Ward’s quote is my favorite, “the sustainability prism is a screening process…”

One of my new interests, Public Private Partnerships (PPP), was addressed. Mr. Ward suggested that PANYNJ is not interested in monetization in the model of tollways, but that they might be interested in money to fill a gap, with sovereign funds, for example. He indicated that the Port’s Staten Island Bridge assets were reaching the end of life and that funding that project would be challenging.

MTA said that they were also open to PPP involvement and so was the City – supportive of PPP and leveraging funds.

This interchange was intriguing, as PPP has not made the kind of headway that you see in UK, India, and South America.

The Council announced that they will be holding an event on Public Private Partnerships in April 2009.

Online Resources
Can P3s boost the stimulus? (Huffington Post)
PPP Bulletin
Public Private News Aggregator
PPP India
Federal Highway/PPP

National Council of Public-Private Partnerships

Public Tenders

Public Private Partnerships