Manhattan is the result of desire and speculation. The blocks, the urban grid and the skyscrapers are merely an intellectual operation addressed to define once and for all the control of mankind over the nature. The creation of Central Park is therefore an act of "taxidermic preservation", which shows the superiority of the mental construction over the reality and witnesses the final outdistancing of the society from it (R. Koolhaas).
In this very moment, when the relationship between city and nature is put seriously in question, and in which the economic and social and climate instability requires a re-thinking of development models and urban resilience, Inverted Manhattan stands out as a pretext for a reflection on the city, its planning and construction and its aesthetics. Let’s think about a lost scenario (lost because never realized) in which the history is altered without denying the inventions that characterized Manhattan as a mythical place. Let’s consider the city in a retrospective way and imagine the application of a reversed zoning law. Blocks, grid and skyscrapers would still be there with changed places, returning a different figuration, but realistic (because potential), of the city.
The resulting image is the following: the blocks are emptied and finally green, unstable and traversable, and their function is constantly re-configurable according to community needs; the grid becomes available for a mixed use and is finally extruded to accommodate the different functions; while Central Park is eventually invaded by skyscrapers.