From the NY Times:
...as the world has moved on, the sidewalk shed — the ubiquitous wooden and steel contraptions outside construction sites that symbolize the constant rejuvenation of New York — has largely been unchanged since the 1960s: erector-style frameworks with flat, flappy roofs that residents have used as rain shelters, bike racks and even chin-up apparatus. What little progress there has been has all been in the lighting: fluorescent has gradually replaced incandescent.
So in an attempt to drag the sidewalk shed into the 21st century, the city’s Department of Buildings, together with the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects and other groups, is holding a worldwide design contest called UrbanShed, which is calling for innovative reinterpretation of a classic piece of New York’s streetscape. (In other cities, the sidewalk shed, also known as a sidewalk bridge, is called a “New York-style shed.”)
The competition will be officially announced on Thursday. Submissions, due Oct. 2, will be evaluated by a panel of nine judges for cost, functionality and aesthetics. Three finalists will be winnowed down to a single winner to be announced in December.