Picture this: It's 7 AM on a Tuesday morning in February. You're on your way to school or work heading to the subway in a windchill of 14 degrees, you're shoes slowly getting ruined in the grey slush and the de-icing salt. You are watching this happen because you stare down at the ground, hoping to avoid the wind- induced tears from streaming down your face and then freezing there. You're desperate to reach the subway, so you can pack into a crowded, humid car where at least one person will cough on you and another four will be pressed so tightly against you, you're using their bodies as padding when the train hits a bump. In that moment, you ask yourself the question all New Yorkers ask themselves at some point: What species of birds can I find in this city?!
The answer is: a lot! Birds, plants, buildings, and neighborhoods all create the environment of Manhattan. Environment is defined as 'the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates.' The Manhattan Place Project explores this environment and seeks to educate all the present and future inhabitants and visitors of Manhattan about its harsh, unwelcoming, and truly amazing ways.
The goal of the MPP is for Manhattanites to gain an increased awareness of their surroundings. Awareness is the first step in many right directions, including: global warming prevention, creating stronger communities, becoming more active citizens, and, on a personal level, gaining a sense of place.