Over the next two weeks, Next City will unroll short profiles of 77 people, places and ideas that have changed cities this year. Together, they make up our 2012 Disruption Index. Forefront subscribers can download the Index in full as a PDF, complete with beautiful designs and graphics by Danni Sinisi. Readers who make a $75 donation to Next City will have a full-color printed copy of the Index mailed to them.
There’s a lot of weight resting on the shoulders of the National Mall. It’s the most visited national park in the country, and it’s got the responsibility of representing the ideals and principles of the entire nation to both domestic and foreign visitors. But keeping the place fresh and vibrant for its 25 million annual visitors is a challenge, and many think it’s time for an upgrade, chief among them the governing Trust for the National Mall.
To pursue a new future for the Mall, the Trust organized a design competition for U.S.-based firms in 2011. In May it announced the winning designs, submitted by some of the top architecture and landscape architecture firms in the country. The designers ingeniously reimagined three sites along the Mall, and work is expected to begin by 2014. The new face of the National Mall could be greeting visitors by 2016. Through the leadership of the Trust and its partners at the National Park Service, America’s front door will soon be getting the makeover it deserves.
Nate Berg is a writer and journalist covering cities, architecture and urban planning. Nate’s work has been published in a wide variety of publications, including the New York Times, NPR, Wired, Metropolis, Fast Company, Dwell, Architect, the Christian Science Monitor, LA Weekly and many others. He is a former staff writer at The Atlantic Cities and was previously an assistant editor at Planetizen.