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City Life

The Urban Umbrella

Another young south Korean, Young-Hwan Choi has come up with an innovative and winning proposal for protecting pedestrians on our city streets. The last one involved plasma lasers and other high tech futurism, but this one is rather remarkable in its simplicity and immediate practicality.

Most people don’t really think of them but the wood and metal rod pedestrian sheds that protect pedestrians as we walk past construction sites are yet another part of the city. In New York contractors are legally required to keep the sidewalks clear and pedestrians safe. Most of the time these sheds are dark and unpleasant to walk through.

The city of New York wanted to do something about this so they sponsored a design competition to see who could build it better. Young-Hwan Choi built it better and now has $10,000 and a comitment from the city of New York to build a mock up and potentially take it into production.

“I tried to think, ‘What is wrong with this scaffolding?’ It’s complicated. I thought the structure should be simplified.” S



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