They had to find more chairs. On Monday evening, a group of more than 70 people — architects, city representatives and Brooklyn residents — met at Fort Greene’s Willoughby Senior Center to talk about the future of the neighborhood’s public spaces.
Hosted by Community Board 2 and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the workshop was part of the Brooklyn Strand. The multi-year, multi-part effort is spearheaded by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and WXY Architecture, and seeks to improve public space around the Brooklyn Bridge and BQE from Borough Hall to Commodore Barry Park.
It’s a busy week for urban planning in New York City. There was Monday’s Museum of the City of New York panel on preservation and development, and today City & State is hosting the New York Moves: Transportation conference. Yesterday, Cities for Tomorrow considered the future of urban life in New York City and beyond.
With Brooklyn on everyone’s minds these days, it comes as no surprise that the Cities for Tomorrow conference had a number of Brooklyn-relevant moments. From discussing the borough’s future tech boom to debating the merits of P.S. 103 in Windsor Terrace, here are Brownstoner’s three favorite Brooklyn moments:
The votes have been tallied in all the City Council districts taking part in the City’s participatory budgeting process — where citizens get to develop and then vote on projects in their neighborhoods that will be paid for by the city. And now the results can be seen on an interactive map. City Council districts are clearly marked, and by clicking on each project, you can find out how much is being spent to do what.
When we last checked in on the process, votes had been tallied only in districts 33, 39 and 45. Now results are in for the rest of the borough’s participating districts: 34, 44, 47 and 38 (not all council members participated in the process).
In District 34, which includes Bushwick and Williamsburg, $700,000 will be spent to upgrade the playgrounds at the Williamsburg Houses and at Brooklyn Arbor School and pedestrian safety will be improved on Meeker Avenue, among other projects.
Brooklyn is where the developer action is — not Manhattan or any other borough. More new-building permits were filed in Brooklyn in April than anywhere else in the five boroughs, according to an analysis of Department of Buildings data by The Real Deal. (You may remember last month, its analysis found more development in Bed Stuy than any other neighborhood in the city.)
But, it was a slow month in general, the story acknowledged. Here are the stats: 17 residential projects with a total of 495 units as well as one commercial project filed in Brooklyn. That far outstrips the next runner-up, Queens, where four residential projects with a total of 117 units and two commercial projects were filed.
It’s not just a blip, though.
Addresses in Queens are notoriously confusing. Bar 43 in Sunnyside, located on 43rd Street at 43rd Avenue just a block off Queens Boulevard, is certainly easy enough to locate (GMAP). But navigating to Sunnyside Gardens Park on 39th Avenue, further north, may deliver you in a state of panic as you find yourself passing 39th Drive and 39th Road along the way (GMAP). How do you make sense of the repetition of street numbers? What is the logic behind it?
Starting in colonial times, European settlers established thriving farming communities in this region of Long Island, and when Queens – all 113 square miles of it – was incorporated into New York City in 1898, there were 60 self-sufficient towns and villages here. Many of these had streets bearing the same name, which proved to be a hassle for the City’s emergency and postal services, and unification seemed prudent.