The phrase “underutilized real estate in New York City” may strike many as an oxymoron: isn’t every square inch of the city covered in asphalt, concrete, buildings or park space? If you’re equating “real estate” with “land,” you’re right, but like early 20th-century developers that saw opportunities to build upward, Solar Decathlon 2011′s Team New York thought creatively about the notion of available space in the Big Apple. While land’s at a premium, the students from the City College of New York’s Spitzer School of Architecture and the Grove School of Engineering realized that many of the city’s buildings have flat rooftops – and those rooftops represent 1.6 billion square feet ripe for sustainable development.
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