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Brooklyn Bridge Redesign Competition

The competition features virtual showdown and online voting.

This story originally was published in The Brooklyn Eagle.

The Van Alen Institute, a nonprofit New York architecture and design institution, is hosting “Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge,” an international design competition that challenges designers to re-imagine one of Brooklyn’s most world-famous landmarks, according to the DUMBO Improvement District.

The Brooklyn Bridge’s striking form, the Van Alen Institute says, “has captured the imagination of some of the nation’s most prominent artists. Its enduring iconographic power makes it one of the most photographed locations in New York. In popular culture, the bridge is a symbol for the city itself.”

Brooklyn Bridge rendering

“Brooklyn Bridge Forest,” submitted by Pilot Projects Design Collective, Cities4Forests, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Grimshaw and Silman, reimagines the bridge as “an icon of climate action and social equity” with an expanded wooden walkway, a dedicated bike path, a reclaimed traffic lane, and biodiverse “microforests.”

However, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the promenade, used by bicyclists and walkers, was crammed, uncomfortable and sometimes unsafe, the Van Alen Institute says. This is why the Institute began the competition.

There are now six finalists, and on Thursday, July 23 at 6 p.m., you can tune into the Design Showdown here, in which the finalists will present their full proposals and the public will be able to offer feedback and criticism for the teams.

Online voting will take place from July 23 to 30 at the Van Alen Institute website, and the winner will be announced in late summer.

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