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Layered SPURA

For 50 years, residents of the Lower East Side lived with a series of vacant lots known as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA)—what is now home to Essex Crossing. Artist and urbanist Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani, along with her students at the New School, has collaborated with community organizations City Lore, GOLES, and SPARC to produce Layered SPURA, a series of exhibitions and walks designed to provide new opportunities for dialogue about this highly contested neighborhood. Join Gabrielle for a participatory Layered SPURA tour to better understand the urban past, present, and future(s) of Essex Crossing and the Lower East Side.

Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani is the author of the new book on SPURA and Essex Crossing, Contested City: Art and Public History as Mediation at New York’s Seward Park Urban Renewal Area.

50 years in the making, the area bounded by Clinton, Delancey, Essex, and Grand Streets—formally known as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA)—has sprouted into the much anticipated Essex Crossing mixed-use development.

This December, Van Alen Institute brings together the planners, designers, and community organizations that have been reshaping the Lower East Side, and ask what lessons we should take with us as New York crosses into a new decade.

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