Surveying Crown Street
What are the most imageable parts of Crown Street? Which businesses and urban types contribute most strongly to Crown’s identity? We conducted a survey that engaged 20 subjects to produce a cognitive re-mapping of Crown Street.
Our form questionnaire asked for basic information along with specific requests for Crown Street itineraries, inventories of Crown Street locations, and cognitive maps produced from memory of certain locations and activities on the street that left a lasting impression of the neighborhood and its urban life. We found a critical difference between “objective” cartographic representations of Crown Street and the collective cognitive maps sourced from our subjects’ memories and experiences. Crown Street presents itself differently from day to night. In addition, certain blocks are much more imageable than others based on the popularity, type, and concentration of the places that constitute the street.
Coney Island is no longer the place for fantasy or experimental urbanism. For “THE CONEY ISLAND” to flourish, its fantastical identity must be salvaged and reimagined. By implementing a Wunderkammer urbanism to shelve Coney Island’s historic fragments in newly constituted environments, the island can be reimagined with a strategy that employs the very thing that had once signaled the elimination of Coney’s fantasy landscape: the grid. For Coney, this way of urbanizing subsumed the fantastical into the regimented, ruled, and controlled. In this scheme the grid becomes the shelves on which objects in their oddities meet landscape. The buildings provide the frame, and sit above streets that have been raised to resist incremental water rise.