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The New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has issued a request for proposals to "Illuminate Lower Manhattan." The proposals must be submitted by March 13, 2012 and the winning plan will be awarded $1 million toward the cost of the project.

The EDC wants to make Lower Manhattan more attractive, exciting and interesting and therefore raise property values just as the High Line has made West Chelsea more desirable.

The proposed light show must be east of Broadway and south of Fulton and Ann streets, although the EDC is encouraging locations along South Street or near the New York Stock Exchange. Presumably such a geographic location might provide visibility for the project from Brooklyn, but not from New Jersey as Battery Park City has been excluded from the project. It is not clear why the EDC has set a geographic limitation for the project unless it wants to have it highlight the South Street Seaport, whose fate is not clear although the Museum of the City of New York has recently taken over its museum.

The light show will be a regular weekly or monthly event and could include an interactive piece, with the projected lights changing as do pedestrian's movements or perhaps displaying people's text-messaged thoughts, Asima Jansveld, an EDC vice president told Julie Shapiro of DNAinfo.com in an February 3, 2012 article, adding that "the goal is create an avant-garde art piece, not another Times Square."

The article said that Ali Davis, an EDC assistant vice president, said a January 13 informational meeting about the project drew more than 100 people including representatives of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, and the Rockwell Group.

EDC president Seth Pinsky said in a statement that the r.f.p. "seeks to tap some of the world's most creative minds to help us highlight the evolution of this great New York neighborhood, both literally and figuratively."
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