Design Institute Turns To NY’ers For Urban Design Ideas

Crowdsourcing — what is that?

To the untrained ear (i.e. mine), it sounds not unlike a trendy North Brooklyn-originated buzzword, suggestive of skinny ankle jeans- and horn-rimmed-glasses-wearing 20-somethings entrusted with making the grown-up decisions of urban landscaping while casually tossing about corporate exhortations such as “moving forward,” “paradigm shift” and “interface.”

Well, that’s pretty much the gist of it, actually. To prepare for Urban Design Week this fall (September 15 to 20), the Institute for Urban Design (IfUD) is calling upon creative and resourceful New Yorkers to give their own input about the future of the city’s public spaces by filling out a questionnaire, in which participants get to nominate “an untapped opportunity somewhere in the five boroughs.”

To participate in the crowdsourcing initiative, New Yorkers can visit the Urban Design Week website now through April 30 in order to submit their ideas, and after the suggestions have all been compiled, the IfUD will then consider the public submissions and have them presented to the design community as “the foundation” inaugurating the first Urban Design Week.

Urban Design Week is being touted as “a public festival created to engage New Yorkers in the collaborative process of city-making,” and will feature activities and events across the five boroughs such as discussions, tours, screenings and workshops, all of which will highlight the collective nature of city-building.

Contributing not one, but two suggestions was Sheepshead Bites’ own young urban visionary Ned Berke who, incidentally, does not sport horn-rimmed glasses, nor does he wear skinny ankle jeans (at least not outside of the house, and we are all so grateful for that).

While his second submission calling for the creation of “an east-west train line along Kings Highway/Linden Blvd” so as to connect central/southern Brooklyn’s neighborhoods with southern Queens, is not as germane to Sheepshead Bites’ general coverage area, he also suggested the inclusion of Sheepshead Bay’s marina and recreational water activities in the city’s tourism brochures, website and other promotional materials.

For relatively cheap, Ned sees this as advantageous to the Bay area, so outsiders, and even residents of the Bay, could “know about the city’s oldest recreational fishing fleet, Sheepshead Bay’s slew of dinner and party cruises, our seafood restaurants, beaches and water sports…[as a means for] promoting neighborhood-based tourism opportunities outside of Manhattan and Northern Brooklyn, and to give tourists a more dynamic view of the diverse neighborhoods that truly represent New York City.”

Sounds win-win to me.

Submit your ideas here.