Osborn Street Plaza Project

The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) have announced that the Osborn Street Plaza project in Brownsville, Brooklyn, which will create an inviting new public space for the community, has been selected to receive an “Envision Verified Award” for sustainability from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). DDC is managing the project for DOT, and the plaza will be maintained by the Brownsville Community Justice Center (BCJC).

“Osborn Street Plaza will expand and enhance an important public space, improve accessibility for community residents and increase access to nearby public transportation,” said DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley. “At the same time, all of our designs are moving toward resiliency and sustainability, and this project will also include features to curb flooding in the area and reduce heat by planting new trees, adding shade furniture, and changing pavement from asphalt to concrete. I thank the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure for honoring this project with its Envision Award.”

“The Osborn Street Plaza Project demonstrates how a section of under-used public space can be thoughtfully reimagined as a community asset with high regard for sustainability and resiliency,” said Kristi Wamstad, ISI Verification Director. “ISI congratulates the NYC Department of Design and Construction, the NYC Department of Transportation and all of the project partners on the success of this project.”

“Every New Yorker deserves safe streets and welcoming spaces where they can meet with family and friends or enjoy public events that help build community with their neighbors,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “The Osborn Street Plaza will dramatically expand space for pedestrians and calm traffic at nearby intersections while implementing a climate-forward design. We thank the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure for recognizing this project with its esteemed Envision Award.”

“We believe in the transformative power of community-led initiatives,” said Ionna Jimenez, Project Director, Brownsville Community Justice Center. “The Osborn Street Plaza Project, a testament to years of collaboration and community input, reflects our commitment to public safety, empowering local youth, and enhancing the physical fabric of our neighborhood. Together, we’ve shaped a space that not only embodies our mission but also serves as a symbol of resilience and positive change since the inception of the Osborn Street Plaza in 2015.”

The $2.3 million project will reconstruct the dead-end segment of Osborn Street south of Belmont Avenue, turning it into a pedestrian plaza with a raised intersection to calm traffic in the area, and will include new pavement, sidewalks, curbs, streetlights and landscaping. The plaza will include bike racks and benches, granite seat blocks, raised trapezoidal planters, moveable chairs and tables with umbrellas and an accommodation for a potential future kiosk. The plaza will provide direct pedestrian access to the NYCHA Langston Hughes Houses.

DOT has an agreement with Brownsville Community Justice Center (BCJC) to maintain the plaza after it opens. BCJC will also offer diverse programming in the plaza to residents.

Top: The Osborn Street Plaza will be used as a community gathering area that will allow for programming from nearby non-profit, events, and more. Above: the plaza will be adjacent to the NYCHA Langston Hughes Houses and next to the Brownsville Community Justice Center. The organization will offer programming in the plaza.

Sustainability and resiliency features will include the installation of two new bioswales and five catch basins, to better manage stormwater. The new trees, shade furniture and the change in paving from asphalt to concrete will reduce the negative heat island effect.

Construction for the project is expected to begin March 2024 and is projected to be completed by summer 2025.

The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure developed and manages Envision, a framework that encourages systemic changes in the planning, design and delivery of sustainable, resilient and equitable infrastructure through education, training and third-party project verification. The Envision sustainable infrastructure framework assesses project sustainability across five categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World and Climate and Resilience. To earn an Envision Verified award, a project must achieve a range of sustainability and resilience outcomes. The Osborn Street Plaza project was cited by ISI for improving quality of life, preserving underdeveloped land.

DDC’s Phase II of Broad Channel Infrastructure Project in Queens, East Side Coastal Resiliency project and Starlight Park projects have previously received Envision Awards.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor Adams’ long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $28 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.

About the NYC Department of Transportation
The New York City Department of Transportation’s (NYC DOT) mission is to provide for the safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible movement of people and goods in the City of New York and to maintain and enhance the transportation infrastructure crucial to the economic vitality and quality of life of our primary customers, City residents. NYC DOT’s staff manage an annual operating budget of $1.4 billion and a ten-year $33 billion capital program, along with 6,300 miles of streets and highways, over 12,000 miles of sidewalk, and approximately 800 bridges and tunnels, including the iconic East River bridges. NYC DOT’s staff also installs and maintains nearly one million street signs13,250 signalized intersections, over 315,000 street lights, and over 350 million linear feet of markings.

— Text of the announcement from NYC DDC (January 35, 2024).