Downtown Brooklyn: The Case for New Urbanism


New York City is an urban hub of culture, innovation, and landscape. In working with this urban environment, infrastructure investments can rejuvenate the communities that call New York “home.” How can we use current infrastructure to create a positive feedback loop?

Welcome to the inaugural season of Architecture 5 10 20! I’m your host, Guy Geier, Managing Partner of FXCollaborative Architects in New York. Guests from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences related to the built environment will come to share their thought leadership. Our conversations will start with understanding how they arrived at what they’re doing now. More importantly, we will focus on discussing their vision for the future, looking out 5, 10, and 20 years.

Today, we’re joined by Regina Myer, a leading urban planner and President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. Regina has also served the city as Senior Vice President for Hudson Yards Development Corporation and Director of the Brooklyn New York City Planning Department. Her background in zoning and economics has positioned her as a master developer, understanding where and how to reuse and create lively spaces.

Listen to Regina speak about what it takes to create and sustain vibrant, livable communities and cities. Brooklyn’s streetscape requires a unique understanding of urban form and social form. Regina shares her insights of blending commercial and residential functions. She brings out ideas to promote new urbanism within the neighborhood, work against gentrification, and secure resources for thoughtful urban development.

As Downtown Brooklyn continues its expansion, how will this mixed downtown define itself? Downtown Brooklyn’s access to regional transportation has set the stage for new urbanism, promoting the creation of a more pedestrian, sustainable, local neighborhood. As Regina notes, “Urbanism is about making density work.” We must continue to support equitable downtown development to house New Yorkers and expand job markets that cater to local growth.


Time stamps:

[01:41] – Regina Myer talks about growing up on Long Island while her parents owned a store in midtown Manhattan.

[03:37] – How did Regina start working in Brooklyn?

[06:03] – Regina gives her thoughts about working around areas like the Waterfront and Greenpoint.

[08:42] – What happens when projects must balance urban form and social form?

[10:32] – Regina shares the time she had to not only build a park project but finance the project.

[12:57] – What are the four elements of park development?

[14:36] – Regina talks about the carousel included at the Brooklyn waterfront.

[16:06] – Downtown Brooklyn is blooming. What is Regina’s perspective?

[18:01] – What are the challenges for the future of developing Downtown Brooklyn?

[20:11] – Brooklyn has a dynamic streetscape.

[22:19] – What does new urbanism mean to Regina?

[25:19] – Regina encourages a continuous investment in infrastructure that helps communities thrive.

[27:20] – Solve problems in urban planning block by block.

[30:11] – Thank you Regina for reminding us to support equitable and sustainable downtown development that caters to local growth.


Guy Geier

Guy Geier FAIA, FIIDA, LEED is Managing Partner of FXCollaborative and host of the architecture 5 10 20 podcast.

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