The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York’s most recognizable landmarks, and holds a special place in our collective imagination.
Since opening on May 24, 1883, the bridge has taken on near-mythic significance in New York City. Its striking form has captured the imagination of some of the nation’s most prominent artists. Its enduring iconographic power makes it one of the most photographed locations in New York. In popular culture, the bridge is a symbol for the city itself, used in countless establishing shots in films and television.
But that iconic status comes at a cost. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, at peak hours the promenade was crammed, uncomfortable, and sometimes unsafe. Thousands of pedestrians and cyclists crossed the bridge every day. In response to these conditions, the New York City Council and Van Alen Institute launched Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge, an international design competition that aims to spark a new public conversation about New York City’s infrastructure.