AERIAL FUTURES: newburgh enclosures
may 17, 2019
newburgh, ny, usa


Situated only 60 miles north of Manhattan, Newburgh is a city of great significance in American history. The city played a key role during the American Revolution and flourished throughout the economic boom of industrialization. Over the course of the last century, Newburgh, much like other industrial cities in the region, has struggled with economic stagnation and urban decline.

One of the most promising drivers for Newburgh’s economic development and growth is its airport. After opening a few international flights in 2017, the airport began attracting unprecedented attention, passengers and new business. In 2018, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey rebranded SWF as New York Stewart International Airport, positioning it as New York’s Budget Flight Hub.

AERIAL FUTURES: Newburgh Enclosures examines New York Stewart International Airport (SWF) as a catalyst for development in Newburgh and its neighboring region. AERIAL FUTURESinvites participants to consider how the airport can accelerate innovation and development in its immediate vicinity, and how it can generate nuance ideas for rural entrepreneurship and urban regeneration. Looking beyond programmatic conventions of air travel and transportation, the think tank will facilitate an imaginative discussion about how SWF can be an engine for local development. 

AERIAL FUTURES: Newburgh Enclosures also presents the research and design of a second year Master of Architecture studio from the University of Pennsylvania. During their integrated studio, students developed design proposals to transform the Short Line Bus Station, currently located across from SWF and 20 minutes west of Newburgh proper. The studio reimagines the bus station as a complementary facility for the airport, city and region, connecting the suburban context, with its big box chain stores, to visions for a hyper-local food destination and leisure hub.

 The Destination

Stewart International Airport is stimulating the region with hundreds of jobs and thousands of new, international visitors. Newburgh can benefit from passenger growth and economic activity at the airport. Through its identity, pride and heritage, Newburgh - a destination, can draw visitors to stay, enhancing tourism and entrepreneurship.

Productive Landscapes

The ecosystems of the Hudson Valley can be intricately local as well as global in their networks. Agriculture, rural and urban, is a particular asset to the region - it can be fostered and contribute to sustainability, commerce and well-being. From forestry and food industries to bird paths and water infrastructure, productive landscapes may be complementary to Stewart International Airport, Newburgh and Orange County.

Disruptive Journeys

The way we commute, deliver goods, and even cook a home-cooked meal are changing at a rapid speed. Connectivity between the airport, the city and the region will be redefined by new types of automation, artificial intelligence, and modes of living. These technologies offer promising solutions to cut costs and emissions in transportation, retail and logistics.