Brooklyn Bridge Park design is latest source of waterfront controversy

April 16, 2012 10:00AM

While much of the actual development around the Brooklyn Bridge Park, including the planned hotel and residential complex along the waterfront, has cleared controversial phases, plans for the waterfront park are causing a new wave of contention.

Architect firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates has submitted a detailed design for the remaining sections of the park that calls for man-made wetland areas, artificial hillsides and meadows, and pathways lined with non-native vegetation. The goal was to provide a serene setting amidst the bustle of the city, the architects said.

But the Project of Public Spaces has critiqued the plan, saying it works more as a front lawn for wealthy buyers in the waterfront condominiums than as a true public space for typical outdoor interactions. It favors aesthetic appeal over functionality as a playground for children, with benches for the elderly and paths for younger couples. They call it “one of the deadest waterfronts ever designed.” [WSJ]