NYC Council and Van Alen Institute Launch Brooklyn Bridge Design Competition

New York City Council and the Van Alen Institute have announced a new design competition to reimagine the Brooklyn Bridge. The international competition seeks creative, unconventional designs that respect and enhance the bridge’s landmark status, think inclusively about mobility and access, and accommodate commuters, visitors, and vendors.

NYC Council and Van Alen Institute Launch Brooklyn Bridge Design Competition - More Images

The Brooklyn Bridge. Image via John Roebling

For the Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge competition, xix finalist designs will be selected by an interdisciplinary jury, which includes leadership from the New York Landmarks Conservancy, SOM, and Transportation Alternatives. Two winning designs will then be chosen with the help of a public vote in July. “People from all over the world flock to the Brooklyn Bridge to soak in its history and breathtaking views of Manhattan. Commuters rely on it to easily walk or bike ride between boroughs. We need to make sure they are not competing for space because we want the number of people using the bridge to continue growing,” said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

Deborah Marton, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute, said that, "The Brooklyn Bridge has always been a beloved embodiment of New Yorkers’ most passionate values. Today, we know we must create resilient, forward-looking cities that decrease our reliance on fossil fuels while strengthening our social connections. These profound issues come to the fore on the Brooklyn Bridge, which must become a better place for pedestrians and cyclists." As the brief sates, with New York’s growing numbers of cyclists and pedestrians, it is imperative to provide modern infrastructure that allows them to move comfortably and safely around the city. But the Brooklyn Bridge, perhaps the city’s most crucial interborough connection for pedestrians and cyclists, remains woefully incapable of accommodating the demands of its users.

The Brooklyn Bridge. Image via John Roebling

Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge aims to inspire the public to envision the infrastructure that will shape New York City’s future, support the transit needs of a 21st century city, and set a new standard for how we think about aging transportation infrastructure across the city. All finalists will have two months to refine their design based on feedback from the competition’s jury. In recognition of their work, finalists in the “Professionals” category will receive $13,000 and finalists in the “Young Adults” category will receive $3,000.

The competition is open to all, and proposals must be submitted at by Sunday, April 5 by 11:59 pm ET.

News via New York City Council and the Van Alen Institute

About this author
Cite: Eric Baldwin. "NYC Council and Van Alen Institute Launch Brooklyn Bridge Design Competition" 12 Feb 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

The Brooklyn Bridge. Image via John Roebling


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