The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership has been selected by NYC DOT in the first round of the NYC Plaza Program, to oversee the design, construction, maintenance, and programming of a public pedestrian plaza on Myrtle Avenue between Grand Avenue and Emerson Place on two blocks of the existing service road. The pedestrian plaza is the result of a multi-year community planning process that began in the fall of 2005, during which the improvement of the avenue’s public spaces became a major emphasis as individuals expressed their desire to have public spaces to sit, eat, relax, people-watch, and to otherwise create a better sense of place.
DESIGNING THE MYRTLE AVENUE PEDESTRIAN PLAZA aims to further involve the community in the creation of a great public space on Myrtle Avenue, generating design and programming concepts that are progressive and sustainable, and that support a variety of user groups and activities while capturing the energy, diversity and dynamic character of our community.
The Call for Ideas is open to any person who wants to participate in the visioning and creation of a new public space for the community, including future users, and amateur and professional designers alike. Participants can enter as individuals or work collaboratively. We encourage submissions that take either of the following two formats:
Best Practices – Compelling examples from existing public places that can serve as best practices in guiding the design and management of the Plaza.
Original Designs – Plans and/or renderings that express your vision of the Myrtle Avenue Pedestrian Plaza, its features and amenities.
Applicants should prepare entries for submission by November 16, 2009. All entries will be reviewed by professional planners on staff and the Myrtle Avenue Pedestrian Plaza Advisory Committee. Selected entries will be displayed online, to gather community feedback and generate discussion about the design of the Pedestrian Plaza. All submissions collected through the Call for Ideas will be used to inform and advise the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership staff and Pedestrian Plaza Advisory Committee for initial and ongoing meetings with the professional design team, to be selected by NYC DOT in the fall of 2009. There will be additional opportunities for public involvement via community design charrettes, which will take place once the professional design team is assigned to the project.
Submissions should consider:
Size / Dimension / Location – The plaza will be roughly 25,000 sq. ft., located on the narrow service road parallel to Myrtle Avenue between Grand Avenue and Emerson Place (two blocks long). See attached street geometry.
Amenities – The design should strive to include, at a minimum, the following features: (1) a small, semi-permanent structure to house a potential concession, (2) concepts for incorporating permanent public art into the plaza, (3) space(s) designated for temporary public art installations, (4) the planting of many more trees and greenery, (5) abundant seating (both fixed and movable), (6) space for bicycle parking, and (7) a bus stop shelter for the eastbound B54.
Sustainability – Designs should incorporate principles of sustainability in design (via storm water retention, paving, greening, lighting, etc.) and materials selection (the BID will be responsible for plaza maintenance; materials should be relatively low cost and easy to maintain).
Programming and Sociability – The plaza should allow programming opportunities for all ages and abilities, encourage social interaction, feature flexible areas that can accommodate a number of uses (performances, temporary markets, special events), incorporate passive recreation, and encourage use by a diverse cross section of the community.
SUBMISSION CRITERIA AND HOW TO SUBMIT
Entries can take all shapes and sizes; from professional renderings to amateur illustrations, sketches, and photos.
Each submission should include:
1. The name of the design and contact information for all individuals contributing to the submission
2. An explanation of how the idea addresses the design criteria outlined above and any further details necessary for understanding the design, concept and special features of the plaza
3. A brief discussion of public programming options, the social use of the space, and long-term management
4. No more than ten images.
E-mail JPG or PDF files to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the name of the design and lead author of the project in the document names. Any large scale drawings or images can be mailed or dropped off at our office at 472 Myrtle Avenue, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11205.
If you have any questions, please contact Sarah by phone, 718-230-1689 or email, email@example.com.
NYC DOT Street Design Manual:
Description of existing conditions:
Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership
Additional photos and CAD files of NYC DOT Street Geometry available by request.