Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta has been working on a new Times Square design since about 2009, with a focus on making it more pedestrian-friendly. The $55 million project will span from 42nd to 47th Street and rid the areas of any automotive traffic. The project is still ongoing, but the areas between 42nd and 43rd Street were made ready for the 2013 New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Some of the new features of the pedestrian plaza include flooring slabs with tiny metal disks embedded in them, which reflect the glow of the neon billboards. As well, its efforts to make the area more pedestrian-friendly have driven huge numbers of people by foot to local businesses and reduced traffic-related injuries by 33%.
It is estimated that Snøhetta’s entire project will come to a close in 2016.