Molly Greene

Molly Greene

A reexamination of the cultural, economic and political history of Travis reveals the influence of industrial growth on the American rural landscape, as well as a story of resistance, resilience and adaptation by local communities.

2012 Urban Fellow

Research Topic: Design and the Built Environment

Faculty Advisor: Amity Doolittle

Dolores Hayden

A Mountain by the Sea: Waste-scapes, Life-scapes and the Reinvention of Fresh Kills

The town of Travis, in mid-western Staten Island, sits at the foot of what was the Fresh Kills Landfill, a site which served as New York City’s dumping grounds for more than half a century during the apex of America’s throw-away era. Currently, even as the looming twenty-story mounds slowly ooze leachate and hiss methane gas, operations are underway to convert the site into a 2,200-acre public park. The plan is touted as one of the world’s most ambitious reclamation projects to date—a complete conversion of a wasteland into a “park of the future.” But this present reinvention is just the latest in what has been a long series of transformations. A reexamination of the cultural, economic and political history of Travis reveals the influence of industrial growth on the American rural landscape, as well as a story of resistance, resilience and adaptation by local communities.