Van Alen Institute has announced the winners of Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge, an international design competition to rethink the iconic Brooklyn Bridge walkway. Emerging from a field of 200 submissions from 37 countries, the winning designs envisioned the bridge as a platform for climate action, social equity, and creative expression. They also emphasized the urgency of expanding the bridge's roadways for pedestrian and cyclist use, a thread that wove through all of the proposals from the competition's six finalists.
The winning design in the Professional category (ages 22 and over) is Brooklyn Bridge Forest by Pilot Projects Design Collective, Cities4Forests, Wildlife Conservation Society, Grimshaw, and Silman; New York and Montreal. Tje proposal reimagines the bridge as an icon of climate action and social equity, improving mobility while respecting the landmark structure. The historic wooden walkway is expanded using planks sustainably sourced from a partner community in Guatemala that protects a 200,000-acre rainforest. 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 winning design in the Young Adult category (ages 21 and under) is Do Look Down by Shannon Hui, Kwans Kim, and Yujin Kim; Hong Kong, Bay Area, CA, and New York. Do Look Down's installation of a glass surface above the bridge's girders creates a whimsical new pedestrian space activated through art installations and seasonal programming. The lower roadway is converted into additional walkable and human-powered transport space that also offers opportunities for local vendors and performers. Powered by kinetic paving, an LED and projection system is mobilized to honor the city's cultures, histories, and identities.
Image: Brooklyn Bridge Forest; Pilot Projects Design Collective, Cities4Forests, Wildlife Conservation Society, Grimshaw and Silman; New York and Montreal