The civic center of downtown Brooklyn is located at the crossroads of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Just south of this cluster of courthouses, administrative buildings, and formal plazas lies Brooklyn Heights, a designated historic district known for its renovated brownstone homes and quiet tree-lined streets. To the north, a group of Modernist public housing towers stand isolated along Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and separate from any surrounding street life. Just beyond, the Brooklyn waterfront has recently transformed from a zone of derelict industrial buildings to a major destination for high-end retail and commerce. Over the past two decades, the re-development of the Brooklyn waterfront, combined with upzoning in the commercial center of downtown Brooklyn, has created a series of development pressures that are erasing the vibrant commercial and civic center of downtown Brooklyn- a place that was once welcoming to people of many economic and social backgrounds. This area is home to 13 subway train lines, Long Island Railroad, and the New York City Ferry, dozens of bus routes, and multiple highways, creating a crossroads for thousands of people commuting across the city. As downtown Brooklyn continues to welcome people from all walks of life on a day-to-day basis, even as the district undergoes major redevelopment, how do individuals develop a sense of belonging in public spaces? Who is welcome to pass through, linger, and feel at home?
Throughline: An Exploration of Third Space proposes environments that encourage connection with community and nature.