Would it be wrong of us to argue that nine out of 10 iconic images of New York include at least a tiny corner of Central Park? OK, OK, our calculations are definitely false, but you get the idea.
Don't be quick to judge, though! Wired invited these professionals to discuss New York's infrastructure and share ideas on what could be fixed to make sure the city that never sleeps doesn't go into a cultural limbo.
Here's what they suggested:
1. A larger network of parks.
With everyone's eyes glued to the majesty of Central Park, Pasquarelli and Chakrabarti say it might not have been the best idea to squeeze almost all of the city's greenery into one rectangle.
According to Pasquarelli, if he was responsible for planning the park back in 1750, he would've done two separate parks — West Side Park and East Side Park — that would seamlessly separate manufacturing areas from the living and working neighborhoods.
2. Evenly spread subway grid.
Pasquarelli and Chakrabarti did spare some good words towards New York's subway system, but they had some improvement suggestions as well.
Most important is it being a more even grid that would enable easy access to various parts of town without having to switch trains. Having a connection between the Lower West Side and Upper East Side, plus more crosstown trains would be a huge improvement, according to the architects.
3. No free parking in the streets for private automobiles.
"Let's just start with you typical New York City cross street. Two-thirds of it is filled with people parking their cars that they use only a couple of times a week," says Pasquarelli.
And he has a point! Vacating that space would increase the city's capacity by 40 percent, and would create more space for green spots and whatnot.
4. Develop an infrastructure for alternative modes of transportation, such as bikes and ferries.
Chakrabarti describes New York's transportation system as substandard.
According to the architects, it is falling behind not only because of government's neglect, but also due to not being able to adapt to new, arising ways of transportation.
Their vision is for the city to develop a robust infrastructure for bikes, ferries and other means for people to get around.