New York City is already home to many of the world’s greatest public spaces including Central Park, Prospect Park and of course, the High Line. So when Mayor de Blasio announced a set of initiatives to “reinvent the Brooklyn Strand” – a series of underutilized and disconnected public spaces and City-owned lots – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented itself. This project will not only add another name to that accomplished list, but more importantly create a grand gateway befitting the County of Kings.
Borough Hall Park
Over the past two years, residents, business leaders, elected officials, numerous City agencies – including the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Transportation – and community groups – including Brooklyn Bridge Park among others, worked together to develop the Brooklyn Strand Community Vision Plan. All in all, more than 250 stakeholders took part, in the form of countless meetings, numerous public workshops, and 50 site walkthroughs.
Led by WXY Architecture + Urban Design, this herculean effort has resulted in recommendations aimed at transforming the quality of public spaces in order to better connect Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and surrounding neighborhoods while improving waterfront access.
The following recommendations have been handed over to the City, now charged with determining which, if not all, of these recommendations can and will be set into motion to become a reality.
The recommendations include:
- A new “Gateway to Brooklyn” off the Brooklyn Bridge
- Reopening of the long-closed Brooklyn War Memorial to the public
- Creation of a market at Anchorage Plaza
- Improvements to Commodore Barry Park
- Improved connections across surrounding neighborhoods by examining opportunities to realign portions of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway ramps
- Transformations of and better pedestrian connections between the existing series of parks, plazas and open spaces that include widening sidewalks enhancing bike networks among others
- Installation of innovative public art throughout the Brooklyn Strand
While the Brooklyn Strand is still in a stage of infancy, the tremendous commitment and creative thinking from the community demonstrates the incredible opportunity to transform this space into the world-class gateway that Brooklyn deserves.
Images Credit | WXY Architecture + Urban Design unless noted otherwise
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