The competition site in Brooklyn is comprised of three areas: an entire city block, the north end of the Gowanus Canal, and two public streets. The city block is bounded on four sides by Nevins Street, Third Avenue, Degraw Street, and Douglass Street, and is currently home to the Thomas Greene Playground and the Douglass Degraw public swimming pool. The pool is on the site of a Manufactured Gas Plant [MGP] that operated in early 20th century (see 1924 photo). The approximate dimensions of the park, excluding the sidewalks, are 200 ft. x 550 ft. (110,000 SF). If design solutions include the surrounding public streets and sidewalks, full pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular access must be maintained.
Location Map: Site shown in red.
At the nearby north end of the canal there is a pump station and a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) outfall (RH-034) that releases 121 million gallons per year of untreated sewage into the canal (data based on 1988 rain records at JFK airport). This is the largest CSO at the canal. The NYC Department of Environmental Protection has proposed that a 4 million gallon retention tank be placed somewhere in the neighborhood to handle this outfall. When calculating the size of the retention tank and amount of annual outfall from RH-034, they did not account for how long term climate change would impact heavy weather events.
The highlighted sections of Degraw Street and Nevins Street are part of the competition site since they connect the park with the canal. The property directly east of the park across Nevins Street is privately owned and is not part of the competition site. Entrants are free to consider other areas of the RH-034 watershed as part of the competition site (e.g. when considering green infrastructure solutions), but all designs must be proposed on public property and MUST include the city block mentioned in the first paragraph. For purposes of this competition, public property is defined as parks, streets, sidewalks, and the canal.