Urban Meadow BKYLN

Urban Meadow BKLYN

Brooklyn, NY, USA

CLIENT Clean Air Communities, Con Edison, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), The lily Auchincloss Foundation, American Stevedoring Inc., The Independence Community Foundation and The Architectural League / STATUS Completed 2003 / SIZE 8,000 SF / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associate, XS Space, The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation+Greenthumb, Office of the Brooklyn Borough, Center for Climate Studies – Columbia, University, Alan Dye Graphic Design

New York City-based landscape design firms XS Space and Balmori Associates have transformed an 8,000 square foot vacant lot owned by The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation into a verdant meadow with gently rolling hills of grasses, wildflowers, and flowering trees in downtown Brooklyn, NY. Initially conceived as a temporary landscape, this project received such overwhelming support by the local community that the New York City Parks Department adopted it under the auspices of its Community Garden “Greenthumb” program. Since the completion of the design and installation by Balmori Associates and XS Space this summer, this new park will be maintained by local residents.

Two large signs posted at the entrance to the park enumerate the environmental benefits of this newly vegetated site’s footprint on the environment. Scientists from Columbia University’s Center for Climate Studies were asked by the designers to study the impact of this site on surrounding air and water pollution, the Urban Heat Island Effect, and resulting health problems for NYC residents. The scientific data they collected quantifies the site’s increased capacity to absorb storm water run-off, offset carbon emissions, and create a cooler microclimate.

Urban Meadow BKLYN marks the launch of an ongoing collaboration between XS Space and Balmori Associates exploring innovative ways to temporarily transform vacant urban lots into productive green spaces. The landscape design firms are currently pursuing a proposal 5 LANDSCAPES / 5 BOROUGHS proposing a landscape project in each of New York City’s five boroughs. This proposal directly addresses Mayor Bloomberg’s PLANYC 2030 to reduce global warming emissions and provide easily accessible green space to every NYC resident. The designers are currently meeting with Community Boards throughout New York City to develop a list of potential sites for these landscapes. The design team is seeking sponsorship by various foundations, non-profit organizations, private corporations and developers.