Downtown Brooklyn Rising: Read the full report
February 23, 2016
Thousand-foot-tall buildings and new retail and residential developments coming to Downtown Brooklyn may be dominating headlines these days, but the massive transformation taking place in the neighborhood extends far beyond new skyscrapers.
In fact, the area’s rebirth is one that was set into motion decades ago, according to the newly published Downtown Rising report – which provides a comprehensive look at historical factors that contributed to Downtown Brooklyn’s transformation into a 21st century model for innovation and economic growth.
One question the report seeks to answer is why, when other areas in the City’s outer boroughs have also had a similar set of conditions and assets to work with, Downtown Brooklyn has seen such remarkable growth. As the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership celebrates our 10th anniversary this year, we set out to define exactly that.
“Downtown Brooklyn has harnessed its determined capacity for creative change to undergo a true rebirth over the past decade,” said Tucker Reed, President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “This report demonstrates just how far strong civic leadership can go when it’s bolstered by smart public investment, and provides the first definitive account of how we came so far, so fast – and where we need to go from here.”
Working in partnership with the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, which prepared the report, key findings highlight the growth of the area’s innovation economy, increased collaboration among local higher education institutions, and the rebirth of Downtown Brooklyn as a major center for culture. It points to decades of targeted public investments, smart land use policy, and leadership at the local level for spurring this success – which has led to the growth of the neighborhood as well.
The report found that between the years of 2000 and 2013, Downtown Brooklyn’s population grew by 17 percent, with the number of young adults increasing by 29 percent. The number of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree skyrocketed by 99 percent and median household income grew by more than 22 percent.
The report makes several key recommendations for the future in order for the neighborhood to continue its transformation into a sustainable 21st century Downtown – which the Partnership, as the area’s non-profit local development corporation, will strive to implement as part of our mission, in concert with local officials.
“As we look ahead to the next 10 years, let us be mindful of our shared goals for holistic development and the investments we need to make in key infrastructure - such as open space, schools, and transportation - to sustain our growth,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “The popularity of Downtown Brooklyn must translate into prosperity for all who live and work in this exciting community, and I am pleased that local stakeholders have partnered together to focus on this mission.”
Read the full report here for the definitive history of Downtown Brooklyn and key recommendations for the continued future success.