Local community groups are pushing forward with the ambitious Brooklyn Strand proposal to reshape a large expanse of Downtown Brooklyn into a greener, more pedestrian-friendly public space.
A new Community Vision Plan [PDF] was just released by Strand organizers, detailing a series of recommendations to the city about how to transform more than 50 acres in a human-friendly greenway.
The Brooklyn Strand has been long in the making, engaging more than 250 community stakeholders — from residents and elected officials to community groups and various city agencies — in planning the process under the direction of WXY Architecture. The firm has held public workshops and meetings over the past two years, distilling community requests and urban design best practices into their designs and Vision Plan.
Among other things, the plan proposes linking Brooklyn’s waterfront, courthouses and the Navy Yard with a series of green spaces that would make currently neglected and inaccessible areas more pedestrian-friendly. The most recent set of recommendations is largely an expansion on ideas we’ve heard before, including:
- Improved connections between the area’s series of parks, including Borough Hall Park, Columbus Park, Cadman Plaza and Trinity Park
- Reopening the Brooklyn War Memorial, which has been long-closed to the public
- Making various changes to the Brooklyn Bridge, including the creation of a “Gateway to Brooklyn” off the bridge’s pedestrian path which would include a viewing platform, elevator access, and a new street plaza beneath the bridge
- The creation of a permanent market at Anchorage Plaza
A new rendering of the Anchorage Market also shows the addition of elevator access to reach the Brooklyn Bridge from the below plaza. For a complete list of plans, see the Brooklyn Strand Urban Design Action and Community Vision plans online [PDF].
Last year, Borough President Eric Adams allocated $1.5 million for two of the proposal’s recommendations: reopening the Brooklyn War Memorial as an education and Veterans center, and redoing Borough Hall Plaza.
What’s up next for the Brooklyn Strand project? City agencies will need to review the Community Vision Plan and help make fundraising decisions, according to a press release by Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.
Should it be approved, the plan would have a massive impact on the heavily trafficked, largely jumbled Downtown Brooklyn area between the Brooklyn Bridge and the water, likely transforming what is currently a confusing assemblage of spaces into a cohesive public amenity like Brooklyn Bridge Park.
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