Public Realm

Welcome to the Public Realm page where you can learn more about the working group goals and recommendations, and view the meeting agendas, notes, presentations and other materials.


Background

The Public Realm refers broadly to the spaces and fabric that stitch together our city into neighborhoods and connect the places we live, work, and play. The Public Realm includes streets, open spaces--such as waterfronts and parks--and building forms that help define these areas. A well-designed public realm enables safe movement of people; provides opportunities for passive recreation and social interaction; and enhances local destinations and natural environments.

The Gowanus area lies within a valley, with the blocks along the eastern and western banks of the Canal rising in grade to meet the adjacent neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens and Park Slope. The existing built character is primarily old low-scale, high lot coverage buildings interspersed with vacant and/or open storage/surface parking lots. There are a few larger loft-style buildings that have been adaptively reused for commercial and light-industrial purposes. There are clusters of legal non-conforming residential homes on the east side of the Canal. Recent trends include large parcels in the area being reused for truck and other open storage uses and others being redeveloped to entertainment, food and fitness establishments or accommodation/hotel uses and shared office spaces. The most significant open space resource within the primary study area is Thomas Greene Park.

During the winter and spring of 2017, the Department of City Planning (DCP) and sister agencies worked with community members, businesses , organizations and local elected officials to identify key issues and help develop and refine proposals through an iterative, consensus-based process on topics such as waterfront public access, streetscape, built environment and open space design, improvements to existing infrastructure and resources, as well as historic preservation. The working group was supported by staff from related City agencies, including the Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Documents and other information from working group meetings and public workshops can be found in the document library.

Welcome to the Public Realm page where you can learn more about the working group goals and recommendations, and view the meeting agendas, notes, presentations and other materials.


Background

The Public Realm refers broadly to the spaces and fabric that stitch together our city into neighborhoods and connect the places we live, work, and play. The Public Realm includes streets, open spaces--such as waterfronts and parks--and building forms that help define these areas. A well-designed public realm enables safe movement of people; provides opportunities for passive recreation and social interaction; and enhances local destinations and natural environments.

The Gowanus area lies within a valley, with the blocks along the eastern and western banks of the Canal rising in grade to meet the adjacent neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens and Park Slope. The existing built character is primarily old low-scale, high lot coverage buildings interspersed with vacant and/or open storage/surface parking lots. There are a few larger loft-style buildings that have been adaptively reused for commercial and light-industrial purposes. There are clusters of legal non-conforming residential homes on the east side of the Canal. Recent trends include large parcels in the area being reused for truck and other open storage uses and others being redeveloped to entertainment, food and fitness establishments or accommodation/hotel uses and shared office spaces. The most significant open space resource within the primary study area is Thomas Greene Park.

During the winter and spring of 2017, the Department of City Planning (DCP) and sister agencies worked with community members, businesses , organizations and local elected officials to identify key issues and help develop and refine proposals through an iterative, consensus-based process on topics such as waterfront public access, streetscape, built environment and open space design, improvements to existing infrastructure and resources, as well as historic preservation. The working group was supported by staff from related City agencies, including the Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Documents and other information from working group meetings and public workshops can be found in the document library.

Map the Public Realm

over 2 years

Share your public realm vision, including what you like and what needs improvement, within Gowanus and its context area (shown within the map's pink boundary, which includes the proposed study area and surrounding blocks, as well as the IBZ and NYCHA properties). Please give us your ideas and suggestions and be specific.

Instructions

  • Choose a pin representing an urban design, streetscape and public realm improvement and drag it over to the pink boundary on the map.
  • Drop your pin in your desired location on the map.
  • Add more information within the comment box.
  • Submit your pin. 
Note: For moderation purposes,...

Share your public realm vision, including what you like and what needs improvement, within Gowanus and its context area (shown within the map's pink boundary, which includes the proposed study area and surrounding blocks, as well as the IBZ and NYCHA properties). Please give us your ideas and suggestions and be specific.

Instructions

  • Choose a pin representing an urban design, streetscape and public realm improvement and drag it over to the pink boundary on the map.
  • Drop your pin in your desired location on the map.
  • Add more information within the comment box.
  • Submit your pin. 
Note: For moderation purposes, you will be prompted to enter an email address and choose a screen name when placing a pin. You will only be required to do to this once.