Submissions are now closed. Finalists will be announced soon — stay tuned!
Do I need a team or can I participate as an individual?
Individuals are welcome to apply. We do encourage teams to apply, collaborating through virtual means.
Can anyone form a team for this competition? Do teams need to be part of an established design firm?
The competition is open to all, including individuals and all types of firms, including emerging and established firms. There are two submission categories: Young Adults (teams aged 21 and below) and Professionals (teams aged 22 and up). Finalists and Winners will be selected from both categories.
Does my team need formal training in engineering, architecture, public space, or transportation?
The competition is open to any ideas to improve the experience on the bridge, and we are looking for diverse perspectives. While the ideal team from the Professional category should represent an interdisciplinary mix of expertise across transportation, public space, and engineering, competitors do not need to have formal training in design, planning, or engineering to submit a proposal.
How many people can be on a team?
There is no minimum or maximum number of team members, but the recommended number of team members is 4. We do encourage interdisciplinary teams.
Can my firm apply as a team?
Yes, firms and studios are welcome to apply as a team. Please include information about the individual expertise of team members in the application.
Can we change our team members later? Can my firm take on the project development?
Once a team is selected, the team members cannot change. The team can draw upon the resources of their larger firm, if they are applying through their firm.
Can my firm submit multiple applications? What if a coworker is already submitting their own proposal?
Only one submission per firm is allowed. Individuals who work at the same firm may create their own teams and submit their own applications, as long as neither team is submitting on behalf of the firm. No firm or individual can be a member of more than one submission.
My team members don't all belong to the same age category. Which track should we apply for?
If any member of your team is 22 or older, you will need to apply under the Professionals category.
I recently turned 22. Which track should I apply to?
If anyone on your team will turn 22 before April 19, you must submit under the Professional category.
I will turn 22 at some point in the competition. Which track do I belong to?
If you will turn 22 after April 19, apply to the Young Adults track.
Is submitting previous work a requirement to qualify for the "Professional" category?
Yes, previous work is a requirement for the Professional category.
Does my previous work have to be design-related? What if I don't have an architectural background?
Previous work should speak to the applicants’ past experience and does not have to be related to architecture, design, or engineering. Ideally, examples of previous work should be relevant to the competition and demonstrate familiarity with the topics at hand, such as transportation, mobility, and/or the public realm. Previous work can be submitted in any medium, including drawings, photographs, writings, or other forms of visual communication.
I helped design a project, but wasn't involved in its development. Does that count toward my previous work?
Previous work must include team members’ direct experience, and can include experience with creation, design, or implementation. Applicants should explain their role on the project in their application.
Can my previous work include concepts that haven't been realized?
Previous work can be realized or conceptualized projects, with a preference for realized.
If selected as a finalist, do we need to provide any documents to verify our role on the projects we submitted to demonstrate previous work?
No additional documentation will be required, but please describe your role on the project with each Previous Work submission. If selected, we will conduct reference calls to verify.
What is this competition looking for?
New York City Council and Van Alen Institute seek visionary ideas that would improve every aspect of the Brooklyn Bridge experience: access, the journey across, understanding of its history, landmark status and extraordinary engineering, and the meaning and pleasure that visiting one of the globe’s most iconic public spaces should deliver.
Who is behind this competition?
This competition is a collaboration between New York City Council and Van Alen Institute.
Where can I find the competition rules?
The competition rules can be found in the Design Brief in the “Eligibility, Terms and Conditions” section.
Where can I find the submission requirements?
Requirements can be found in the Design Brief in the “Applicants Submission Requirements” section.
Can I propose adding new structures on the top/sides/underside of the bridge?
Should proposals be practical, or is the sky the limit?
We encourage creative, envelope-pushing ideas. For the Professional track, feasibility is one of the criteria that will be considered. Feasibility is not a requirement for the Young Adults track, as one goal of this competition is to give young people an opportunity to share their opinion on future infrastructure that they will experience.
How much should we consider historic preservation? Can we alter the existing design of the bridge?
Proposals must balance celebration of the bridge’s rich history and iconic status with its everyday utility. Please refer to the Design Brief for the full set of evaluation criteria.
I work at the same organization as a jury member. Can I still apply?
Individuals of the same organization that do not report to a jury member are eligible to participate. Please find other details about individuals with relationships to jury members in the Design Brief under “Eligibility, Terms, and Conditions.”
Can I apply to be a juror?
Thanks for the offer! However, the jury has already been identified for this competition.
There's a 10-page maximum for the application. Does that include all images and text?
Yes, the 10-page maximum is inclusive of all elements of the Applicants Submission Requirements listed in the Design Brief.
Does each part of the application need to be on its own page?
The cover sheet must be its own page. You can divide content at your discretion across the other pages.
Do I need to register before I submit my application?
There is no pre-registration. Your submission through our application portal by Sunday, April 19 at 11:59 pm ET is sufficient.
Why does the application have to be a non-standard paper size?
This is the standard submission size to enable both paper and electronic review.
Are we limited to only one poster image?
Submissions are limited to a single ‘poster image.’ You can divide written content at your discretion across the other pages.
How should we format the written portions of the application?
Please arrange responses as sections according to the “Submission Requirements” in the Design Brief.
What should our poster image look like? Is the jury expecting a structural drawing?
The jury will review the items included under “Submission Requirements” in the Design Brief. The ‘poster image’ included in your proposal can be a sketch, rendering, collage, or other format and should look to address the competition goals. Your poster image should aim to bring your concept to life—make sure it is vibrant, contextual, engaging, and responsive to the competition brief. Entries will be judged and narrowed to six finalists based on the Evaluation Criteria in the Design Brief.
Where should we describe how we came to our recommended proposal?
Participants are to describe how they came to the recommended proposal through their responses to the thematic prompts in the Project Approach section. No separate description is required.
Does “a single PDF” mean that proposals are limited to one page?
Submissions should be formatted as a single PDF document but may have multiple pages. The document can be a maximum of 10 pages.
What types of materials can I submit for my concept?
You can submit a drawing, photograph, or other forms of visual communication. All proposals must be submitted in PDF format.
Can I include drawings/sketches in my responses to the Project Approach questions?
Responses in the Project Approach section should be limited to text and should provide further detail regarding the ‘poster image’ you submit.
Can I link to more information in my proposal?
You may link to additional information in your proposal, but the jury is only required to look at the information in the PDF proposal submitted. Supplemental materials beyond the submitted PDF will not be part of the evaluation process.
Is there a word limit?
There is no word limit, but your proposal must be no longer than 10 pages.
Does “a singular poster image” mean that all of my graphics can be on only one page, or can I put graphics on other pages as well?
Only one image is required as part of your submission. This image should fully convey your design idea.
An earlier version of the brief included submission dimensions of 11x13 but now I see 11x17. Which is it?
We are accepting both formats! 11×13 was initially included in error.
Will travel expenses for the finalists be provided?
Teams may be eligible to receive a travel stipend of up to $1,000. Teams are expected to participate in-person at two events, one in May and one in July. Not all team members must attend in person.
Can the finalists work with Van Alen and the New York City Council online or via phone?
Yes, the design development period will be conducted by phone and email.
Can you provide statistics about the bridge's usage?
Reference documents provided by the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT), including the bridge’s site plan and statistics regarding the pedestrian, cyclist, and car usage of the Brooklyn Bridge can be found here.
Are current technical drawings of the bridge available?
Drawings provided by the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) can be found here.
Has the bridge's cable inspection been completed? Can you share those results?
The cable inspection has not been completed at this time. As of the launch of the competition, New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) was working to procure engineering services to complete the cable inspection as quickly as possible. We will update participants if we learn more.
I won't be available for a period of time during the competition. Will that be a problem if I'm a finalist?
Provided that another team member can be available, it should not be a problem to miss 3-4 days between finalist selection and the public jury session. If you are selected as a finalist, please inform the competition team of any foreseeable scheduling conflicts as soon as possible.
Is there any forward-looking data about bridge usage?
Data projections are not available at this time.
Should we plan the proposal around the proposed future-state DOT pedestrian path extension or around the current-state?
Please plan around the current state of the bridge.
What's the maximum weight can we put on the bridge?
DOT’s ongoing structural study is intended to determine the current load capacity of the bridge. In the meantime, we encourage participants to think about how to accommodate the needs of various users, and how to move toward their vision for the next hundred years of New York City’s transportation and public realm, more than about the precise feasibility of their design.
The country we're submitting from has a Google firewall issue that prevents us from using your submissions portal. What should we do?
Please submit your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include responses to the questions on the Google form in the body of your email:
Team Name; Number of Teammates; Competition Category (Professional or Young Adult); Primary Contact Name; Primary Contact Address; Primary Contact City, State; Primary Contact Country; Primary Contact Zip Code; Primary Contact Phone; and the following statement:
“In making this submission, I/we acknowledge, agree to and accept the Eligibility, Terms and Conditions requirements outlined in the Design Brief.”