Brooklyn Bridge will feature sustainable tropical wood and wider bike lanes

A source of pride for New Yorkers, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, with thousands of pedestrians and cyclists crossing the bridge every day.

A new project aims to reimagine the bridge as an icon of climate action and social equity by refurbishing the structure’s iconic wooden walkway using planks sustainably sourced from a ‘partner forest’ community in Guatemala that protects 200,000 acres of rainforest.

The team leading the project, called Brooklyn Bridge Forest, won the recent Reimagining the Brooklyn Bridge competition, which challenged participants to rethink the bridge’s iconic walkway.

While it might seem like it would be better to source wood from local forests – and avoid the rainforest completely – designer Scott Francisco, who’s part of the project, argues that it’s important to partner with a distant forest.

“For an infrastructure this prominent in the city, with its history and its global significance, it’s an opportunity to reference the fact that the city is, in fact, having these impacts of distance,” he says. “In many cases, those impacts are negative. It’s time that the city takes responsibility for the global nature of its networks.”

For the Guatemalan forest, having a customer like the City of New York can help ensure that the forest survives. “One of the linchpins of their model is their ability to sell wood that is sustainably harvested from their forest. They have a management plan which is very rigorous. For example, they harvest about one tree per ace every 40 years. That kind of yield is really critical to ensuring sustainability,” explains Francisco.

The city could work with the forest to supply other needed wood, such as for park benches, and the model could serve as an example for other cities to partner with similar communities.

Brooklyn Bridge Forest’s design also rethinks the experience of crossing the 137-year-old bridge. The lower deck, which was originally used for horse-drawn carriages and then a cable car and streetcar before being dedicated to cars, would add new bike lanes. What’s more, at each end of the bridge, new “micro-forests” would restore native biodiversity and add shade.

The team has been in talks with city officials and has hopes that the first stage of the project—converting car lanes to bike lanes on the lower part of the bridge and planting the micro-forests—could happen before the end of the current mayor’s term next year.

Solution News Source

Brooklyn Bridge will feature sustainable tropical wood and wider bike lanes

A source of pride for New Yorkers, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, with thousands of pedestrians and cyclists crossing the bridge every day.

A new project aims to reimagine the bridge as an icon of climate action and social equity by refurbishing the structure’s iconic wooden walkway using planks sustainably sourced from a ‘partner forest’ community in Guatemala that protects 200,000 acres of rainforest.

The team leading the project, called Brooklyn Bridge Forest, won the recent Reimagining the Brooklyn Bridge competition, which challenged participants to rethink the bridge’s iconic walkway.

While it might seem like it would be better to source wood from local forests – and avoid the rainforest completely – designer Scott Francisco, who’s part of the project, argues that it’s important to partner with a distant forest.

“For an infrastructure this prominent in the city, with its history and its global significance, it’s an opportunity to reference the fact that the city is, in fact, having these impacts of distance,” he says. “In many cases, those impacts are negative. It’s time that the city takes responsibility for the global nature of its networks.”

For the Guatemalan forest, having a customer like the City of New York can help ensure that the forest survives. “One of the linchpins of their model is their ability to sell wood that is sustainably harvested from their forest. They have a management plan which is very rigorous. For example, they harvest about one tree per ace every 40 years. That kind of yield is really critical to ensuring sustainability,” explains Francisco.

The city could work with the forest to supply other needed wood, such as for park benches, and the model could serve as an example for other cities to partner with similar communities.

Brooklyn Bridge Forest’s design also rethinks the experience of crossing the 137-year-old bridge. The lower deck, which was originally used for horse-drawn carriages and then a cable car and streetcar before being dedicated to cars, would add new bike lanes. What’s more, at each end of the bridge, new “micro-forests” would restore native biodiversity and add shade.

The team has been in talks with city officials and has hopes that the first stage of the project—converting car lanes to bike lanes on the lower part of the bridge and planting the micro-forests—could happen before the end of the current mayor’s term next year.

Solution News Source

SIGN UP

TO GET A Free DAILY DOSE OF OPTIMISM


We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. Privacy Policy