Urban Habitat Award – Winner: World Trade Center Master Plan, New York City

Larry Silverstein
Silverstein Properties, New York City

Carla Swickerath
Studio Daniel Libeskind, New York City

A New Urban Space for Lower Manhattan

In 2002, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) announced a competition for a master plan to develop 6.5 hectares in Lower Manhattan destroyed by the terrorist attack of 9/11. The “Memory Foundations” design won the commission. There was a fundamental requirement to balance the memory of the tragedy with the need to foster a vibrant and working neighborhood. Half of the site was set aside as public space, defined by the Memorial and the Memorial Museum, while also setting aside locations for sustainable, high-tech office towers, re-connecting the historic street grid, reinvigorating the streetscape with above-ground retail, reshaping the underground transit concourses, and even finding room for two major new public facilities: an iconic new transportation station and a performing arts center.

The rebuilding of the WTC site as a public open space has become a valuable catalyst for the successful rebuilding of the mixed-use office towers that surround it, helping to regenerate the Lower Manhattan economy and the real estate market. The design draws in the surrounding streets and sidewalks, knitting the site back into the urban fabric of Lower Manhattan. A 61-meter stretch of street and sidewalk on Greenwich Street, which had been erased in the 1960s, was restored. The Memorial Museum opened in spring 2014, One World Trade Center opened in early 2015 with the symbolic height of 1,776 feet (541 meters). The Transportation Hub was completed in 2016.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation