DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT:
According to some urban planning experts, Broadway was New York City’s earliest desire line, following as it does the Native American-made Wickquasgeck Path, which is thought to have been the shortest walking route between pre-colonial settlements in Manhattan. Broadway is the only remaining path, according to architect and urban planner Riccardo Marini, that “wasn’t wiped out by the European grid being overlaid on it.” For this one-day participatory event, the street of Broadway will be closed to vehicular traffic and reserved exclusively for its historic use, as a walking path between the most northern and the most southern tips of Manhattan.
During Broadway Saunter Day, participants will be invited to walk the full length of Broadway, experiencing the incredible diversity of neighborhoods and the evolving psychogeography of the landscape. While walking, they will be encouraged to consider both the historic use of the path they travel (a pre-colonial path of desire) and the potential future use of public transportation spaces in urban environments (as places where pedestrians could walk safely and comfortably.) During this collective event, communities will form as this unique shared experience becomes a touchstone not just for geography and history, but also for people and possibilities.