A Brooklyn Parking Lot Becomes a Neighborhood “Living Room”

Paint a Parking Lot, Put Up a Paradise

A StreetFilm by Nick Whitaker

Running time: 2:45

StreetFilms has some excellent video coverage of the Dept. of Transportation’s launch of its Public Plaza Initiative in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood last week. The before-and-after images are particularly compelling.

What once nothing more than a parking lot and illegal dump has become a green oasis complete with chairs, tables, umbrellas and sculptures by local artists. DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan calls the space, "a new living room for the neighborhood."

  • Steve

    Great film, will have to stop by this space the next time I am in Brooklyn and try it out for myself. Where do we find the list of the other 30 public plaza projects?

  • momos

    This makes me want to make the effort to visit DUMBO and hang out there instead of rushing to a particular location and then leaving. I’d imagine that’s true for others. That means more more activity for local businesses.

  • MrManhattan

    I hope among the 30 other public plaza sites are:

    Canal Street (River to River)
    14th Street (River to River)
    23rd Street (River to River)
    34th Street (River to River)
    42nd Street (River to River)
    57th Street (River to River)
    All currently paved areas in Central Park

    Any other suggestions??

  • I would like to gain permission to publish the
    piece by Aaron Naparstek of 12/9/2005 about Park Avenue pre and post 1922, and direct my readers to the powerpoint show it references. (http://www.naparstek.com/2005/12/history-of-new-york-city-public-space.php)

    Who would have thought this would ever be of interest to people living in the “Hill Country” of South Texas. Alas, urban sprawl is breathing down our necks. In the last three years we have fended off the Big Box giant (W-M), an elevated toll road through the middle of town, and more. . . it isn’t going to stop. We are trying to educate ourselves and our community. Your efforts are outstanding.

  • JF

    In case you were worried about the DUMBO motorists, some thoughtful person at the DOT has rejiggered the parking regulations so that they still have space for their deathmobiles.

    Presumably there was a reason why there hasn’t been parking allowed up to now, but that must have gone out the window.


Making Room for People Rather Than Cars

We talk a lot on this blog about the way that government policy can help to create livable streets. But we don’t often discuss the role that individual property owners can play when they’re inspired to create a more pedestrian-friendly space. The owner of this property in Miami has decided to convert a parking lot […]

Take a Stand Against Affordable Housing By Saving This Parking Garage

In NYC’s current affordable housing shortage, every square foot counts. With that in mind, the city announced plans earlier this year to relinquish three parking garages it owns on West 108th Street to make way for 280 units of new housing, all of which would be reserved for people earning less than the average income in the area. Naturally, hysteria ensued. Since […]

Rally Against Demolition for Enormous ‘Temporary’ Parking Lots

Forest City Ratner plans to demolish two entire city blocks – including historic buildings that should be reused like the Ward Bakery – to create enormous “temporary” surface parking lots for over 1400 cars that would blight Brooklyn for decades. These parking lots will also encourage more people to drive, leading to worse traffic, worse […]