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Public Picks Grand Army Plaza Design

401_1209127814.jpgThe people have spoken, choosing a design for Grand Army Plaza that connects it to Prospect Park, taking Flatbush Avenue underground and making pedestrians the primary users of the space.

"Canopy," a plan submitted by a team of French designers, took people's choice in the "Reinventing Grand Army Plaza" competition, sponsored by the Design Trust for Public Space. It was also selected last month by competition jurors as one of two top designs.

"Canopy" is one of few submissions that actually connects the plaza with the park. Like last year's Grand Army Plaza Coalition proposal, it at least takes a stab at dealing with area-wide traffic management issues -- a major consideration for any workable redesign.

While raising the profile of the project and drawing the attention of thousands of Brooklynites, it's unknown how much of an impact the competition will have on the eventual design. The Brooklyn Paper reports:

"The contest wasn’t intended for a design to be constructed,"sniffed Scott Gastel, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation,which is conducting traffic studies as a first step in its own plan tofix the plaza.

"The competition has produced some very interesting concepts, whichwe will bear in mind as we continue to think about the future of GrandArmy Plaza," he said. "We’re still looking into the designs [toevaluate their feasibility]."

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