Redesign project for Brooklyn Bridge taking opinions

The Van Alen Institute — the urban design think-tank — has asked design firms and the public to rethink the Brooklyn Bridge walkway, one of the best spots in the neighborhood but also one of the most congested, annoying and sometimes flat-out dangerous. There’s also the added factor of the vendors, whose opportunities there the city wants to preserve (I have always thought they should be moved off the walkway and to the plaza where Occupy City Hall is now.)

Van Alen is now adding the big issues of the day as a lens to the project. “As made even more clear by the pandemic, the design of our streets and shared spaces must be responsive to the present moment and work to correct past injustices. They must foster equitable, accessible, and sustainable transportation options, create a healthy and safe environment for all New Yorkers, and opportunities for small businesses and vendors to flourish.”

The competition currently has three finalists in two categories, professionals and young adults. Some of the designs are very abstract (I am avoiding the word wacky, which first came to mind) and oddly, the three young adult submissions are not New Yorkers, which rules them out for me. But if you use the walkway at all, this could be worth a night of engagement.

The public virtual Design Showdown on July 23 at 6p, when both the public and the jury will have a chance to give feedback. RSVP for the Design Showdown here.

Then online voting will be live between July 23 to 30 here. The winner will be announced in late summer.



  1. Absolutely agree to move the vendors.

  2. How about not allowing NYPD to park two (2!) of those 3-wheeled Interceptor vehicles on the walkway? Those police officers can stand outside on their beat and not obstruct the walkway.