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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
Tourists and locals alike will notice the change when Times Square finally completes its four-year renovation this summer, but can a Euro-style pedestrian area really change the logjam that is one of the world’s busiest tourist attractions?
An innovative Norwegian architecture firm, Snøhetta, has noticed our disregard for our most iconic landmark and has been rewarded for its insight. The firm has been commissioned to “renovate” Times Square in a project that will begin construction this summer. Their re-design is aimed at tickling locals’ disinterest while addressing the many problems of aesthetics and congestion that plague the 10 blocks x 2 hellish Avenues in the heart of Midtown.
The plan for the ground level of Times Square involves leveling out the curb and the street so that the entire “bow-tie” is in a single plane. 50 x 5 ft. granite benches will break up the pedestrian traffic along the then-ubiquitous sidewalk. The ground level would try achieve a certain sobriety in its monochrome-grey palette that works as a balance against the chaos of lights above.