A New York Icon, Reimagined

John Hill
10. July 2020
The Cultural Current by Aubrey Bader and Maggie Redding from Knoxville, Tennessee (All images courtesy of the Van Alen Institute)

Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge, an international design competition organized by the New York City Council and the Van Alen Institute, "challenges participants to rethink the iconic Brooklyn Bridge walkway." Images of the six finalists have been released.

Every bridge traversing the East River allows people to walk across them, but none receives more foot traffic than the Brooklyn Bridge. It gets the most bicycles too. But with one narrow lane for pedestrians next to one for bicyclists, the famous bridge is — or was, in the days before COVID-19 — "crammed, uncomfortable, and sometimes unsafe," in the words of the competition organizers.

Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge responds to the growing demand for the sharing of streets and other pathways that have long given priority to cars. The organizers contend that "the design of our streets and shared spaces must be responsive to the present moment and work to correct past injustices." Though iconic and unique, the Brooklyn Bridge offers the potential to spur design ideas that could find wider application in other parts of the city.

The six finalists (three each in two categories) are listed below and presented with one image each. Visit the Van Alen Institute's website to read about the entries, register for the virtual "Design Showdown" that will take place on July 23, or vote on your favorite in the week after the showdown. The winner will be announced in late summer.

Three finalists in Young Adults category:

  • The Artery by Lukas Kugler from New Milford, Connecticut
  • The Cultural Current by Aubrey Bader and Maggie Redding from Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Do Look Down by Shannon Hui, Kwans Kim, and Yujin Kim from Hong Kong, California's Bay Area, and New York

The Artery by Lukas Kugler from New Milford, Connecticut
Do Look Down by Shannon Hui, Kwans Kim, and Yujin Kim from Hong Kong, California's Bay Area, and New York
Three finalists in the Professionals category:

  • Back to the Future by BIG and ARUP from New York
  • Bridge X by ScenesLab, Minzi Long, and Andrew Nash from New York, Boston, and Vienna
  • Brooklyn Bridge Forest by a team led by Scott Francisco, Pilot Projects Design Collective from New York and Montreal

Back to the Future by BIG and ARUP from New York
Bridge X by ScenesLab, Minzi Long, and Andrew Nash from New York, Boston, and Vienna
Brooklyn Bridge Forest by a team led by Scott Francisco, Pilot Projects Design Collective from New York and Montreal

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