The New York Times reports on the rising tensions between the community and developers over the plans for Brooklyn Bridge Park.
“For New Yorkers long accustomed to being shut off from miles of waterfront that were abandoned, underused or cut off by highways, lots of green open space on the water seems like a good idea. To Fred Kent, an urban planner who examines parks and plazas the way a doctor scrutinizes X-rays, it is another missed opportunity for life on the waterfront. Mr. Kent, the founder of the Project for Public Spaces, a nonprofit design and planning group, points to cities like Oslo or Stockholm where waterfronts are the backdrop to markets, museums and a range of commerce and culture.
‘Putting a bunch of fields on the waterfront in the middle of a pier is not exactly the thing you should be doing on what is essentially your face to the world,” he said of the Brooklyn plan, which he has opposed along with several local groups. “If Brooklyn wanted to distinguish itself as a great city, apart from Manhattan, it is the waterfront that could do it.‘”
PPS recently facilitated a community visioning workshop for Pier 1, located at the end of Atlantic Avenue. There had never been any public input into the uses for the pier. The current design is for a passive landscaped space. Like many other waterfront projects around NYC and the world, the current vision for Brooklyn Bridge Park, and especially the Pier, is a squandered opportunity in place of what could be a great public asset.