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An Answer To Unsightly Scaffolding Is Coming To New York

Concept art from scaffolding startup Urban Umbrella

Soon, making buildings in New York more beautiful will not look so ugly in the meantime.

The winner of a 2010 competition to redesign the notoriously dull green scaffolding seen all over New York, Urban Umbrella, will introduce its first application in the city at 20 West 22nd St., a 16-story office building in the Flatiron District owned by ABS Partners.

Made of recycled steel and translucent plastic, Urban Umbrella is designed to make walkways more clear and facades less unsightly while work is done. The scaffold can be fitted with LED lights that change color, to make the structure even more aesthetically pleasing. The setup is 58% more expensive than the standard scaffold, but owners who employ Urban Umbrella bet on the preserved revenue from ground-floor businesses to make it worthwhile.

"Scaffolding has been a blight on NYC streets, and this product is ideal to solve the complications inherent with the need to maintain safe areas adjacent to construction sites, particularly those where construction will endure for an extended period of time, and simultaneously take into account the consideration of the people using the areas in and around these sites," ABS President and Co-Managing Partner Gregg Schenker said in a release.

Urban Umbrella will also be installed at 19 Murray St., according to the New York Post.