New York City hired engineering and consulting firm Arcadis to renovate Fifth Avenue.
Fifth Avenue is a world-famous street in the borough of Manhattan that begins in the south at Madison Square Park in the Greenwich area. From there, the busy New York Arterial Road extends in a straight line – about ten kilometers long – to the Harlem River (where Fifth Avenue ends).
The New York government engaged Arcadis to reduce automobile traffic on Fifth Avenue. The goal is to make the street accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. The city government is working with four private organizations from New York City – partnership name: Future of Fifth.
Fifth Avenue sidewalks will be expanded in the near future. More green spaces will also be added to the street. In addition, additional bicycle lanes will be created, while the number of car lanes will be reduced from three to two or one.
Is the economy more sacred than the car?
The car that should take its place in the largest city in the United States: a unique development, because in the United States the car is just as sacred as the cow in India. But perhaps keeping the economy going in this country is more sacred than the car.
The Fifth Avenue renovation project follows an experiment. Last year, around the holidays, the New York City Council closed part of Fifth Avenue to automobile traffic for several weeks. The aim was to study the impact on the sales volume of shops and catering establishments.
Fifth Avenue is one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world. Dozens of world-famous brands have branches on the avenue – including Louis Vuitton, Versace, Gucci, Abercrombie & Fitch, Prada, Rolex, Cartier, Apple, Tommy Hilfiger, Armani and Nike.
Payment company Mastercard then checked cash registers at stores on the temporarily car-free, pedestrian-friendly section of Fifth Avenue. Conclusion? In total, consumers spent an additional $3 million.
“Mastercard research shows that car-free, pedestrian-friendly streets encourage more people to spend time in public spaces, while also creating more retail activity and more job opportunities for residents,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
The Fifth Future Partnership has appointed Arcadis to lead the innovation programme. The engineering and consulting company is currently busy preparing the renovation project. According to the current schedule, it will be completed in early 2025.
After that, the renewal of Fifth Avenue will begin under Arcadis’ leadership. Not only will the street itself be renovated, but many of the shops on the famous street will also be renovated. As chief architect, Arcadis was also responsible for the redesign of twenty of these stores.
“The strength of Arcadis lies in our ability to collaborate with global customers and their stakeholders,” said Alan Brooks, CEO of Arcadis. “Together we create public spaces that serve as economic catalysts for surrounding communities and deliver sustainable urban outcomes.”
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