Our first book, Gowntown: A 197-X Plan for Upper Manhattan, was reviewed by John Hill, dDAB (A Daily Dose of Architecture Books). He begins by taking us on a walk:
Having given a walking tour of Columbia University's four Uptown Manhattan campuses strung along the 1 Train — Morningside Heights, Inwood, Washington Heights, and Manhattanville — for many years now, I've been forced to dig into the long and contentious process of the last, the new campus taking shape northwest of 125th Street and Broadway.
From Gowntown: Introduction:
What exactly is this document? To begin, it’s a series of meditations on Manhattanville—and Upper Manhattan—intended to provoke discussion, even action. It has been prepared in light of Columbia University’s massive expansion into the neighborhood and the inevitable enormous changes this will bring. This proposal is the work of Terreform—a nonprofit, freestanding research center, which as part of its mission formulates unsolicited interventions for vexed urban situations. Gowntown has not been commissioned by anyone, although its preparation has entailed extensive consultation, shares many points of view, and, of course, stands on the shoulders of giants. We are pleased to call to the achievements of Ron Shiffman, who has been New York’s most dedicated community planner for decades and who was instrumental in producing Community Board 9’s fine 197-a plan1 (encompassing Manhattanville).
We likewise salute the many groups and individuals in the neighborhood who—through a combination of imagination and resistance—have struggled to secure a happy and equitable future. With these fair efforts in mind, we choose to call this document a 197-x plan to acknowledge that it is not the result of consensus building and to suggest that such “unofficial” contributions should enjoy the same standing and warrant the same attention as the more official, community-sponsored 197-a and the generally developer-driven 197-c.
A truly open planning process must be just that: one in which all contributions are respected.
In 2016, Terreform launched its publishing imprint, UR (Urban Research). UR is a medium for disseminating our work and as a support structure for designers and researchers who share the project of a progressive and liberated urbanism.