British architect on shortlist of three to develop vision for 3.4 square mile site on Staten Island.
Architect John McAslan + Partners, one of three on the shortlist to masterplan a huge landfill site in New York, is proposing Eden-style biomes as part of a high-density mixed-use development.

The architect is pitching for the chance to create a vision for Fresh Kills, an area of 3.4 square miles on west Staten Island that was formerly used as the city's rubbish dump.

The British firm, which is up against US outfits Field Operations and RIOS Associates, will be interviewed on 7 October by the City of New York Department of Planning. The winner is expected to be announced by the beginning of November.

As well as the biomes containing local flora and fauna, McAslan is proposing an energy centre to exploit the decomposing rubbish, and housing and recreation facilities.

He said: "There is an opportunity to stitch back the neighbourhood on Staten Island through this. We want to create a fairly high-density development around the perimeter of the site."

Plans for the redevelopment of the area were disrupted last year by the terror attacks on the World Trade Centre. The site had stopped taking rubbish in March 2001, but after the collapse of the twin towers in September, a 6 ha area of was designated to take remains of the two skyscrapers.

The site comprises forests, wetlands, two creeks and a wildlife habitat as well as the landfill site. The project is expected to take decades to complete because the rubbish on the site will take years to degrade. The area first became New York's landfill site in the mid-20th century.

The city planning authority claimed last year that the increased debris from the World Trade Centre would only slightly delay its plans for the site.

McAslan's team pitching for the project includes its landscape arm JMP Landscape, Arup and QS Davis Langdon & Everest, as well as specialist landfill, environmental and transportation companies.

The team was shortlisted for the project in December. The competition, which opened at the beginning of 2001, attracted 50 entrants. These were whittled down to a shortlist of six before three were selected.