Newtown Creek 2050


Collaborators: Nick Hubbard, Kelsa Trom, Marina Zurkow
Past Collaborators: Rebecca Lieberman
Date: October 2016 - Current
Media: Virtual Reality

Newtown Creek is a government Super Fund Site in New York City. The waterway divides Queens from Brooklyn and connects directly to the East River. It has been historically a part of the Industrial Business Zone (IBZ) of both boroughs. Millions of tons of waste, sewage, and chemical byproducts have been dumped into the creek since the 1700s. It is also the site of the ExxonMobil Oil spill, the largest oil spill in North America. Once a lush area of wildlife, this estuary has been paved over, reconstructed, and claimed by industrial factories. One of the issues with the creek is that it is completely inaccessible to the community around it. Most resident and workers in the area do not realize that it exists because it is walled up behind layers of fences and large warehouses.

Newtown Creek 2050 is an immersive experience which seeks to provide awareness and ownership of the creek. Using virtual reality, the project provides access to a space unknown. By providing awareness and ownership, the group hopes create conversation around remediation for the benefit of the creek wildlife, residential community, and worker community in the adjacent area.