As the University ramps up its efforts in New York City, researchers in the Johnson Graduate School of Management have joined the trend — serving as the leaders of the design team responsible for creating a multimedia exhibition on Staten Island at the base of what will soon be the world’s largest Ferris wheel.
The New York Wheel is expected to be a state-of-the-art attraction and include a restaurant, a theater and several multimedia exhibitions on innovation, alternative energy and New York City history. The Johnson School’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise will lead the development of an exhibition on the influence private sector business has on global sustainability and entrepreneurship.
Prof. Mark Milstein, clinical professor of management and organizations at the Johnson School and director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, said that the center will work to create a high-tech, state-of-the-art exhibition on innovation and sustainability to showcase a range of topics, including green building and design, next-generation green materials, low- and no-carbon energy technologies and geo-engineering.
The New York Wheel project will also provide a number of opportunities for Johnson School students, Milstein said.
“The intention is to provide the intellectual leadership that will determine the focus and content of the expo. It is also our vision to offer an educational component that will include experiential learning opportunities for students at Cornell,” he said.
Involvement in the project will also give the Johnson School increased name recognition, according to Rich Marin ’75 MBA ’76, president and CEO of New York Wheel, LLC.
“[The New York Wheel] is a way for the Johnson School to receive as much visibility in New York City as the CornellNYC Tech campus,” Marin said. “The Johnson School’s knowledge of sustainability and commercialization can be applied to a grand real life project, instead of just private research.”
In 2014, New York Wheel, LLC will begin construction, on the northeastern side of Staten Island, of what will be New York City’s first observation wheel. The wheel will stand at 630 feet, equivalent to an approximately 60-story building, and will accommodate up to 1,440 visitors per ride, according to a University statement.
The wheel will have 36 compartments, each of which will carry up to 40 passengers, according to the statement. Visitors will be treated to views of Lower and Midtown Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and the New York Harbor for the duration of each ride.
The wheel will be accessible via the Staten Island Ferry and has the potential to draw a high volume of visitors, according to leaders involved in the project.
“With over four million visitors and an additional one billion social media impressions expected each year, the New York Wheel offers an unprecedented opportunity to influence how people understand what the private sector is doing to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems,” Johnson School Dean Soumitra Dutta told The Sun.
New York Wheel developers hope the center will achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest rating awarded for sustainable construction, Marin said. In addition to the sustainability exhibition, which will be housed in the new attraction’s 100,000-square-foot terminal building, there will be significant open green space around the base of the wheel.
“The space can incorporate stormwater capture methods, a green rooftop the length of three football fields to oxygenate the environment and wind and solar energy harvesters,” Marin said.
Marin added that the attraction may be able to grow and produce food to serve at the center’s proposed eateries.
“The green rooftop is an example of organic urban farming in a controlled manner, which could even be used to support the attraction’s restaurants and food services,” he said.
Marin said the New York Wheel is scheduled to launch with a grand opening on New Year’s Eve at the end of 2015.