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As a city that is always at the forefront in innovation and amenities, it should come as no surprise that New York City is continuously undergoing changes and improvements. Here is a look at a few of the outdoor attractions being completed around the city.

Pier 3 Breaks Ground

Construction of the 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park began in 2008. Since then, the waterfront space has undergone a significant transformation. Not only has the area gained basketball courts, walking paths, a beach and a marina, but areas that were previously an eyesore have been removed to make way for these new additions. One of the final pieces of this transformation was set in motion recently as city officials and representatives from Brooklyn Bridge Park broke ground on Pier 3.

The last of the six piers that will be transformed into parkland, Pier 3 will be transformed in part with the help of landscape architect Michael van Valkenburgh. Van Valkenburgh has been working on the park transformation for nearly two decades. Dubbed as the park’s “Sheep Meadow,” Pier 3 will be largely characterized by its large open space and its huge central lawn surrounded by walkways. Plans also call for the creation of a play labyrinth for kids as well as space that can be used for recreational activities and other events. In all, the Pier 3 transformation is expected to cost $26 million and will be completed in 2018.

Socrates Sculpture Park Becomes Contemporary Outdoor Gallery

With the works of 15 rising artists using its space for display, Socrates Sculpture Park will soon be transformed into an urban outdoor gallery. The large-scale contemporary works of the 2016 recipients of the EAF16: Emerging Artist Fellowship will be scattered throughout the park. In this way, park visitors will have the opportunity to make their way through the landscape while also interacting with a variety of different works. Each of the pieces will be site-specific while also addressing some sort of issue, including social, political and ecological issues.

Crafted from a wide range of materials, the pieces reflect the style of a wide variety of artists. Each of the winning artists will receive an open studio, “institutional expertise” and financial support. The Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition will run until March 13, 2017.

West Village AIDS Memorial Nears Completion

Located in the center of St. Vincent’s Triangle Park across from the former hospital in West Village, an abstract AIDS memorial is nearing completion four years after the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission signed off on the project. Featuring three metal triangles that essentially result in an 18-foot-tall canopy, the structure was designed by the Downtown Brooklyn-based architecture firm studio ai architects. At one time, plans called for the canopy to be covered by ivy and flowers. These plans were abandoned, however, after the Landmarks Commission raised concerns about the upkeep of the greenery.

The park around the memorial, which has been largely funded by the developer that converted the former St. Vincent’s Hospital into a luxury condo complex, was completed last summer. The memorial itself is expected to be complete by the end of the year, with a water feature still to be added under the canopy as well as engraved text with poetry and quotes relating to the AIDS epidemic in the city.

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