Designers transform Brooklyn Bridge into innovative infrastructure

An international design competition to reimagine how the iconic Brooklyn Bridge could be made more accessible, safer and sustainable for pedestrians and cyclists has announced the finalists.

Some of the biggest names in the international urban planning world are among the finalists in the “professionals” category (ages 22 and up) of Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge, a competition that wants to rethink one of New York City’s most popular landmarks. The competition was launched by the New York City Council and Van Alen Institute with the aim of sparking a new public conversation about New York City’s infrastructure.

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) teamed up with Arup for their Back to the Future proposal, which seeks to remove cars and related ramps and provide more space for pedestrians, bikes and transit. It also proposes new innovations in autonomous mobility and public space design in an effort to create a stronger connection between downtown Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan and beyond.

Bridge X, from ScenesLab, Minzi Long and Andrew Nash, proposes a Brooklyn Bridge that reimagines the upper and lower decks to reclaim space for greater pedestrian and cyclist access, make room for vendors and small businesses, and offer new models of engagement with the bridge. Digital tools will enable visitors to more easily access, explore and experience the bridge.

Pilot Projects Design Collective, Cities4Forests, Wildlife Conservation Society, Grimshaw Architects, Silman and Natural Areas Conservancy joined forces for their Brooklyn Bridge Forest project, which turns the bridge into an icon of climate and social action. A dedicated bike path and reclaimed traffic lane create new space for cyclists and low-carbon transit, while biodiverse “microforests” at either end of the bridge bring nature to New York City and serve as green spaces for underserved communities.

The winner will be announced in late summer.

Image credit: Colton Duke via Unsplash

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