On giant piles of trash left by a generation of New Yorkers, landscape architect James Corner is building a park that has the power to change the way we see the past and the future of the city.
The first time Corner saw the view from the East Mound was summer 2001, when he toured the site in a van with other landscape architects competing for the commission. Every contestant ended up emphasizing so-called green ideas like recycling, native planting, and the use of sustainable-energy sources. But none of the competitors addressed the trash hills as explicitly as Corner.
Corner recognized that these Wall-E-esque trash heaps were the most significant feature of the land. "I was just blown away by the scope and beauty of the place," he recalls.
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