Baltimore Red Line

Winner of the Baltimore Urbanite Project 2011: Open City Challenge, an international competition focused on mitigating the effects of the construction of the 14 mile Red Line, a light rail line connecting disparate neighbourhoods in east and west Baltimore. Work is planned to start in 2015 and will last for 5 years.

Published in the October 2011 issue of Baltimore Urbanite with an overview of the competition here.

I took part in a discussion about the project on The Marc Steiner Show on Baltimore radio. Podcast here.

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20 Stations / 20 Questions

What does it mean to be connected to another neighborhood by the Red Line?

Does it alter the way you think about another part of the city? Are you any more likely to travel there than before the Red Line was built? Or is it just a form of transport, a way or reducing traffic congestion ...

This is a proposal for a series of conversations across the city between the neighborhoods that will be linked up by the Red Line. It is about more than simply decorating the hoardings around construction sites with artwork generated by the local community (not that this is wrong, just old hat) but creating anticipation in the minds of the people directly affected by the Red Line of something more meaningful than a faster commute to work.

In short, the 20 stations will be paired up. Residents from one station are asked to submit photographs online to meet a changing brief, in the form of a question about the identity, character, history, or any aspect of that area. The best photographs are chosen democratically and displayed on billboards around the construction site at a second station. That second station in return displays its work at the first, using the same system. Every 3 months new photographs are chosen and pasted up. It is a 5 year process of getting to know another part of the city.