As a resident living in the South Street Seaport of Manhattan I'm just a birdseye view away from the Brooklyn waterfront -- which is also the borough I was born and raised in. I recently took a tour offered by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy of Michael Van Valkenburg Associates grand design for the East River waterfront. Just my humble opinion, but like everything else produced by this firm, it is pure brilliance from the largest brushstrokes down to the smallest details planned. Some photos from my Blackberry Storm of the site...

Believe these are the "river steps"..... salvaged granite from the Roosevelt Island Bridge. This park feature will provide new vistas and tranquil places to sit and take in the breathtaking views of the skyline, bridges and river. The steps will enhance waterfront access and serve as a tiered viewing deck for park visitors.

That's the BQE on the left... a huge berm is to be contructed that diffuses the sound which emanates from that highway.
better images, informations, illustrations, programming, etc can be found through these links..

Park Design images/Bklyn Bridge Park Conservancy
Brooklyn Bridge Park

It is entirely possible that when future generations enjoy Brooklyn Bridge Park, they will regard it with the same devotion as present Manhattanites embrace Olmsted's Central Park!


Impervious surfaces (such as driveways) limit the amount of stormwater capture and retention. During rain storms these surfaces (built from materials such as asphalt, cement and concrete) along with rooftops, carry polluted stormwater to storm drains, instead of allowing the water to percolate through the soil. This causes flooding as there is no absorption into the ground. Most municipal storm sewer systems discharge stormwater, untreated to streams, rivers, bays. In New York City, my understanding is that the overtaxed sewage system overflows into the East River.

So,…controlling the amount of stormwater runoff from urban homes is paramount in creating green infrastructure. The challenge is to allow the stormwater to percolate into the soil or ground, thereby reducing levels of urban runoff.

Thanks to a wonderful client of ours in Brooklyn, my partner Dinorah and I designed a sustainable solution to their problematic residential driveway in the midst of redesigning the entire property. The existing asphalt was cracking, pot-holed, consistently failing and flooding during rainstorms. As per local ordinances we could not repave + re-pitch the driveway to direct stormwater into the street. As we were demolishing the pressure treated wood deck in the rear, we chose to create a pea gravel driveway with secured wood boards from the demolished deck (which would then allow the stormwater to percolate down). The broken up asphalt driveway was then used to provide fill for the newly designed above grade stone deck. Only the pea gravel was trucked in, since we used material on-site to produce this. Best of all, the client reaped a tremendous cost savings through this solution!

Old driveway

Old deck

Sustainable Driveway solution