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Memorial Plaza

Memorial Plaza (145)

On this square, which, at first glance, may just seem another park in New York, more than 400 oak trees have been planted around the two large ponds. Oak trees were chosen for being very hardy trees and for the colour palette they offer along the different seasons. Thus, in summer, you can seek shelter in the shade of their leafy tops, while in autumn the square turns ochre, golden as well as reddish and even pinkish. But there are not only oak trees on this memorial plaza. There is an exception, which stands out above the other trees. It is the Survivor Tree, a pear tree that was recovered from the rubble of the 11 September attacks and, after being pampered and honoured like a true hero, was replanted in its place of origin in December 2010. This pear tree stands as a symbol of survival and resistance of living beings to major disasters. This is why its presence on this memorial square is so important. Here is a nice gesture of the city of New York to other cities that have also suffered the impact of a tragedy: every year seedlings from the survivor tree are given to three cities that have also been hit by tragedy. In 2015, an unusual event occurred, as the seedlings were given away to Spain's embassy in Washington, in memory of the attacks of 11 March 2004. The unusual thing about it is that, for the first time, tribute was paid to a city outside the borders of the United States.

This square is a peace haven in the heart of Manhattan, an overwhelming space, where it is easy to take shelter from the bustle of New York and spend a few minutes remembering those who are no longer with us. In fact, one of the objectives of this square was to create a contemplative space, an atmosphere of recollection, hope and renewal. Judging by what you have before you, we believe that this purpose has been achieved.

Now, the Memorial Plaza also stands out on an architectural level for being one of the most ecologically sustainable squares to have ever been built. Underground tanks collect rainwater, which is the same that feeds the park irrigation systems. Moreover, other park maintenance and care measures have been successfully implemented to fully respect the environment.

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