Downtown Brooklyn Could Get Pedestrian-Friendly Revamp With the Help of Bjarke Ingels

Rendering via Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

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An ambitious plan to make nearly 240 acres of Downtown Brooklyn more pedestrian friendly has new renderings and details.

Spearheaded by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership consortium of business owners and designed by the architecture and urban design firm WXY, which produced the plan in collaboration with the Dumbo-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the project was first announced in February 2019.

Called the Downtown Brooklyn Public Realm Vision, it includes a series of connected shared streets (one of which has already been implemented on part of Willoughby Avenue), the extension of sidewalks on busier streets in the neighborhood, including Fulton, Livingston and Boerum Place, and safer crossings on Flatbush Avenue.

The stated intent of the plan is to counter the car-centric street design of the Robert Moses era.

There will be 950 new trees added to the area and a 230 percent increase in permeable surfaces according to CityLab, who first reported the news.

New bike lanes will also be added on Flatbush Avenue, Fulton, Schermerhorn Street and Adams Street, along with a variety of different plantings, seating options and engaging, colorful elements—the use of bright purple, orange and aquamarine blue dominates the renderings—that feels contemporary but one could see becoming quickly dated.

Cars will be banished from Fulton Mall, which will become a one-way bus lane, cutting down on traffic (eastbound buses will be rerouted to Livingston). The plan also includes major changes and pedestrian safety measures at the congested intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, near Barclays Center.

To be implemented, the plan will require sign-off from multiple city departments, including planning, transportation and parks.

Well-intentioned pedestrian malls of the 1970s era, including in Downtown Brooklyn, often had the effect of deadening the streetscape and killing off local businesses, but one of the purposes of this proposal is to improve access to retailers, according to CityLab.

What do you think of the proposal?

View the rest of the renderings below:

rendering downtown brooklyn partnership

rendering downtown brooklyn partnership

rendering downtown brooklyn partnership

[Renderings via Downtown Brooklyn Partnership]

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