If you are from New York or have family there, you know most people wouldn’t even consider swimming in the East River. What about a pool filled with water from the river? Forget about it. But what if the pool floated in the river, and it’s walls filtrated all the bacteria and contaminants from the river water? Well, now you might just end up with a swimmable pool!
That’s exactly what the folks Family and Play Lab are counting on. Meet the + Pool. Shaped like a giant plus symbol, it will actually be four pools in one: a kids pool, sports pool, lap pool, and lounge pool. Like a giant strainer dropped into the river, + POOL will make it possible for everybody to swim in clean river water in NYC.
It began as a simple idea amongst three friends, who quickly realized they weren’t the only ones who wanted to see the project come to fruition. In just six days, they raised $41,000 surpassing their goal of $25,000. Soon after, a team was then assembled of designers, engineers, environmental consultants, planners, project managers, and fabricators. The initial backing money allowed the team to start testing water filtration materials and gather water quality data for the project.
Funding for the project has been as inventive as the pool itself. Since the pool will contain 70,000 tiles, supporters can purchase tiles and have their names engraved on it to be permanently placed it the pool. There are different levels of tiles to purchase starting at $25.00 (group tile containing seven names) all the way up to $9999.00 (limited edition marble tile).
Primarily using funding via Kickstarter, it’s on its way to becoming one of the largest crowd-funded civic projects the world has ever seen, and the fact that everybody can be a part of getting + POOL into the water is both incredible and absolutely central to the project. The hope is not only to provide a recreational area for New Yorkers to go to, but to also change the way New Yorkers view and take care of the rivers surrounding Manhattan.
The team recently achieved its funding goal of $250,000.00 to move the next phase of the project which will be to build a floating lab, essentially a miniature version of the pool to test filtration and allow everyone to see and learn how the pool will help clean the river and provide a fun place for families to visit.
The project has a long way to go, but the hope is to open the pool by 2016, just in time for the Olympics. If it is a success, it may just change how cities across the country and the world look at rivers and lakes, and inspire them to clean and take care of the water around them. To learn more about this incredible civic project, visit www.pluspool.org.