July 31, 2019 By Allie Griffin
The Kosciuszko Bridge won’t just be known for traffic back-ups anymore.
The North Brooklyn Parks Alliance unveiled the plans last month for what will be “Under the K,”
seven acres of new parkland under the bridge which will offer visitors waterfront access, public
art installations, musical performances and recreation.
“As our neighborhoods become increasingly dense amid historic development, we all must
reimagine the types of spaces that can become open and public,” said Katie Denny Horowitz,
Executive Director, North Brooklyn Parks Alliance. “Under the K is a visionary solution to the
urban plight of limited space, transforming how cities can and should approach future parks.”
Designed by Canadian landscape architecture firm PUBLIC WORK — the masterminds behind
The Bentway, a similarly linear park underneath a Toronto expressway — the Greenpoint park
will feature four distinct spaces and combine the industrial designs of the bridge’s soaring
beams with the natural ecology of Newtown Creek.
The first space titled “The Arm” will offer bikers and pedestrians a pathway from the bridge into
the park through a series of successional planting zones capable of hosting community markets.
“K-flex 1 and 2” will offer the community event spaces for rotating programming and large scale
performances. The last section celebrates the waterfront of Newtown Creek and will feature
native landscaping and public outlooks and seating.
“Few parks could offer such raw potential for community engagement in activation, recreation,
culture, and nature – a testing ground for contemporary expressions of social and ecological
transformation,” said Marc Ryan and Adam Nicklin, co-founders of PUBLIC WORK. “Under the
‘K’ dreams of a collaborative space that celebrates the resilience of nature and Brooklyn’s
diverse community culture.”
The Kosciuszko Bridge connects Brooklyn and Queens and partially opened to traffic in 2017
after its older predecessor was knocked down. The same year, New York state approached the
North Brooklyn Park Alliance to develop ideas to turn the unused space beneath the span into
an area for public use and in 2018, the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund awarded
the alliance a $100,000 grant for the project.
The full span is expected to open in September, four years ahead of schedule and Under the K
will be completed the following month, according to Curbed. Another park will be built under the
span across the way in Queens, along 34rd Street between 54th and 55th Avenue.