On January 25, we hosted a half-day forum on transforming Downtown Brooklyn into a thriving live-work neighborhood.

The borough’s civic center has long been the focus of economic development initiatives. The most recent plan passed in 2004 loosened zoning to attract new businesses, but new housing boomed instead. Although residential development infused new life into the district, it strained the neighborhood’s existing transit, open space, and social infrastructure.

Yet new office projects coming online – such as the Wheeler and One Willoughby – signal a turn toward commercial development. New university facilities at NYU, LIU, and CUNY and the expansion of the Brooklyn Cultural District continue to energize the neighborhood. Through bold visions for the Strand and Brooklyn Queens Connector, and continued investment by the city and state, Downtown Brooklyn aims to become a more competitive central business district.

How can New York City use creative zoning and new infrastructure to design a dynamic live-work neighborhood? And how can local partners capitalize on the building boom to foster an inclusive workforce?


Event Photos ↓


Breakfast & Registration, 8:30 – 9:00am ↓

A light breakfast including coffee, water and juice will be served at 8:30am and remain available throughout the program. The event will then begin promptly at 9:00am.


Conversations, 9:00 – 11:30am ↓

A Long-Term Vision
How can Downtown Brooklyn stimulate economic growth and anchor opportunity for all?

Building an Inclusive CBD
What zoning tools and local partnerships can the city develop to support a more inclusive workforce?

Investing in the Public Realm
How should the city invest in transit, open space, and community facilities to attract a new workforce?


Tour Option 1, 11:30 – 12:30pm ↓

300 Ashland
At the intersection of Flatbush, Ashland and Lafayette, 300 Ashland offers cultural and civic space anchored by a 15,000sf public plaza.


Tour Option 2, 11:30 – 12:30pm ↓

The Wheeler
Fusing Art Deco architecture with contemporary design, The Wheeler will offer a new 10-story office hub above the Fulton Street Macy’s.


Tour Option 3, 11:30 – 12:30pm ↓

Dime Savings Bank
The historically landmarked Dime Savings Bank building will be integrated into 9 DeKalb, the soon-to-be tallest tower in Brooklyn.


Guest Policy ↓

The Urban Design Forum promotes conversation between invited civic leaders, designers, developers and advocates. Forum Fellows and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership members are welcome to invite one additional guest to attend.


Our Partners ↓

The Urban Design Forum is pleased to partner with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership to present this event.


About Work Force

Downtown Brooklyn Precinct Study is the fifth event of our Work Force series. As the City implements the “New York Works” plan and rezones outer borough business and industrial districts, the Forum considers how creative zoning, public realm investments, and new infrastructure might enhance economic outcomes for all.

This program is made possible through the support of our Director’s Circle. Shape our year-long inquiry and promote conversation between our Fellows and invited decision-makers. To learn more, please contact Daniel McPhee, Executive Director, 646-928-0553 or daniel@urbandesignforum.org.


Image Credit ↓

1) Payton Chung/Flickr
2) Payton Chung/Flickr
3) Scott Beale/Flickr
4) WXY
5) Thomson200/Wikimedia Commons
6) Tishman Speyer/The Wheeler
7) Daderot/Wikimedia Commons