Brooklyn is one of the most famous places in the world – it should have a gateway that is worthy of it.
And yet when visitors and locals make the iconic march over the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan, or head from the heart of Downtown Brooklyn on a 15-minute walk to the world-class open space at Brooklyn Bridge Park, we are forced to navigate a confusing experience under Brooklyn-Queens Expressway ramps, along narrow sidewalks, through vacant spaces that haphazardly connect the area’s parks and plazas.
Enter the idea of the Brooklyn Strand – a community-driven effort to connect Downtown Brooklyn to its waterfront by reimagining how we can connect those parks, plazas and other green spaces to create a mighty green gateway into Brooklyn that the borough deserves.
The idea evolves and takes shape
Together with DUMBO, the Navy Yard, we first came upon this concept as a result of recommendations in 2013 to create dynamic places in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle. The idea gained momentum the following year when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a series of initiatives to further the growth of Downtown Brooklyn into a thriving 21st century destination. Among these was a call to “reinvent the Brooklyn Strand.”
Taking up the charge, we turned to our partners at architecture and urban design studio WXY to lead an extensive community visioning process, which included a series of charrettes with more than 60 stakeholder groups over a two-year period.
The Brooklyn Strand vision is everyone’s vision
The result is a community-driven vision that rethinks a mid-20th century urban plan created for car infrastructure to reconnect streets and paths and create a more continuous city fabric that is walkable, bike-friendly, and ultimately connects Downtown Brooklyn to the waterfront and neighborhoods in between.