Book Review | Brooklyn Bridge Park: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

Brooklyn Bridge Park: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates tells the story of transforming 85 acres over 23 years into a waterfront park facing the Manhattan skyline. Originally, the Brooklyn waterfront was car parks and decommissioned piers that, over time became a climate-resilient waterfront with passive and active recreation for residents and visitors.

The over 300-page book provides a vivid array of images, sketches, and photos of the project, showing the transformation of the original site through the design and construction phases to the current day. The book includes short essays, including a forward from Julie Bargmann, that speaks of the inspiration, design intent, and the unfolding of the park over 23 years. Michael Van Valkenburgh provides a background of what this project meant to MVVA and how, through various events (such as Hurricane Sandy), the design proved resilient and reached many of the firm’s ambitions to be a place of connection between people and nature.

Brooklyn Bridge Park: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates is over thirteen chapters that provide essays and a visual biography of the park. These chapters include Before the Park, Designing the Park, Meeting the City, Places for Play, and so on; each of these chapters provides the reader with an understanding of the design and transformation of the park, telling the story through striking photographs that include Before and After images as well as photographs through the seasons. The book also includes illustrative plans, diagrams, sketches, and some technical plans that give the reader more insight into the design process.

The book consists mostly of professional photographs of Brooklyn Bridge Park; However, this does not detract from the overall quality of the book, as the photographs are well-chosen and show a broad range of views (vistas, aerials, mid-shots, and landscape details). Brooklyn Bridge Park is a vast park with a wide array of uses and programs that are showcased in the book and provide inspiration for all landscape architects, designers, city and government planners as well as the general public.

Book Review written by Damian Holmes, Editor – World Landscape Architecture

Brooklyn Bridge Park: Michael Van Valkenburgh

ISBN : 9781580936170
PUBLISHER : Monacelli Press, Incorporated
BIND: Hardcover
PAGES: 304

World Landscape Architecture was provided a review copy of the book as part of this book review.

About Damian Holmes 3344 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at