Sunset Park is a dynamic neighborhood with residential communities, strong commercial corridors, and one of New York City’s largest manufacturing and industrial centers. Its strategic location holds immense potential for community enhancement and economic growth. This planning study aimed to outline a comprehensive plan that leverages the existing assets to benefit the local community and question how investments in infrastructure, planning, and urban design can contribute to the growth of the neighborhood. The plan is presented in five main components: Coastal Connection: To enhance connectivity and accessibility within Sunset Park, the proposal includes measures to improve transportation infrastructure. This includes the construction of a swing bridge that connects into Red Hook, increasing public transit options, upgrading pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and implementing traffic calming measures to improve safety. By making it easier for residents to travel within the neighborhood and beyond, these improvements will facilitate greater mobility and promote sustainable modesof transportation. Jobs + Growth: A key objective of the planning study is to stimulate economic development in Sunset Park, creating opportunities for local businesses and residents. This involves strategic investment in commercial corridors, mixed-use development projects, and varied densification along the neighborhood. By attracting new businesses, supporting entrepreneurship, and providing job opportunities, these efforts will strengthen the local economy and provide equitable growth opportunities. Commodities + Communities: Industry in Sunset Park is diverse and growing, and includes manufacturing, logistics, and more. Trucks and other freight traffic support these businesses, but streets are highly congested and unsafe. The proposal highlights two key concepts, The Freight Channel and Sunset Boulevard, that consider how infrastructure can streamline the movement of commodities and communities in a logical, fair, and efficient way to support future growth by improving freight traffic and creating safe streets for pedestrians and cyclists. Parks + Play: Many Sunset Park residents lack access to public and open recreational spaces. At present, many streets within the neighborhood are underneath the Gowanus Expressway and heavily utilized for parking cars and other vehicles. To enhance, increase, and promote green spaces, the “Gowanus Gateways” and “Parks on Parking” concepts ask how infrastructure, use of vacant lots, and consolidated parking can create high quality, green community gathering and recreational spaces for access underneath the Expressway. Industrial Resilience: Sunset Park faces an increasing frequency and magnitude of severe weather events, straining aging infrastructure and compromising the neighborhood’s role in the NYC economy. The neighborhood needs to adapt by embracing emerging district energy technologies that will increase its sustainability and resilience. Through the application of innovative technology and energy planning, Sunset Park can serve as a true pilot for renewable energy.


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