The Hoot

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For the Public Good

by sarah • March 29

There's not much better than a smartly-designed public space in a city where a square foot can cost an average of $965. A beautiful new park is the equivalent someone building an extension onto your living room for free. This weekend we strolled the paths of the newly-openedĀ Brooklyn Bridge Park. It offers beautiful views of lower Manhattan (right across the river from theSeaport Museum New York), and is a massive project that reclaims Brooklyn's waterfront that had been in post-industrial decline.

The area had once been a collection of abandoned piers, parking lots, and crumbling factories. These are now being replaced with places to picnic, daydream, playgrounds and beach access. Meandering pathways allow for a natural flow of walkers, joggers, and bikers. Most impressively, the park's design repurposes materials from the past to create new design elements. A terrace of stairs was built from salvaged granite taken from old NYC bridges, park benches are made from recycled timber that was part of the old Cold Storage Building, and clean fill has been repurposed from the city's East Side Access Project. The planning and design aesthetic of the park is equally as exciting as theĀ Highline Park, unveiled last year with a similar mission of reclaiming space for nature and people to flourish.