2017 Merit Award

Southwest Brooklyn

Category: Analysis, Planning, Research and Communications

Landscape Architect:



Project Team:


About the Project:

Southwest Brooklyn presents a framework for civic discussion on how the City might ask: What kind of city do people want to live in? At its foundation the same pillars which have always formed the foundation of the city; the environment, now defined as climate change and sea level rise; transportation needed to create and maintain neighborhoods; and housing, no required to accommodate the forecasts of more than three million additional people in the next 25 years. This document looks at these issues through the guiding principles of growth, equity, resiliency and sustainability. The future of the City must be the result of a constant conversation with the City as a whole. Southwest Brooklyn might be where that conversation begins.

Project Location: Brooklyn, NY

Special Factors

Southwest Brooklyn imagines a city where integrating resiliency with the economic and social needs of the city is the standard.

Coastal protection must address both expected sea level rise levels and increased periodic large storm events similar to Hurricane Sandy. Measures to mitigate such impacts should integrate place-making and open space, with waterfront habitat, and mechanical flood control devices to create a strategic continuous waterfront that supports both public accessibility and future development.

Southwest Brooklyn puts forth a vision of development that supports the integration of a variety of strategies to create an equitable solution– promoting strong, vibrant, and growing waterfront communities. “Raising the ground” as a coastal resilience strategy can accommodate new development and integrate it into the existing neighborhood while providing flood protection. Fortified buildings can withstand storm surges. Deployable flood protection elements can help maintain connectivity and views to the waterfront, activating when conditions require. Berms can create great public spaces, allow for recreation, and use natural systems to alleviate flooding. Flood gates and fortification of existing infrastructure can be plugged in to protect assets within the neighborhood context.

Additionally, the framework presents a toolkit of integrated sustainable technologies, including opportunities for interconnected smart, microgrids, and solar and wind power.