Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway user study


Do you live, work, or play along the Brooklyn Waterfront?

Starting in 2023, you can see the User Study’s unique computer vision sensors installed along the Greenway all the way from Greenpoint to East New York. Deployed by our partners in the study, Brooklyn-based data company Numina, these unique computer sensors are the next step in BGI’s first-of-its-kind user study of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway.

As of February 2023, they’re beginning to collect real data on how (and how many) people use our protected pedestrian and cycling route.

What's the User Study?

The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway User Study represents a new kind of innovative data collection that will fill in the missing data in our understanding of New York City greenways. The study will add the quantitative dimension to the qualitative benefits that we already know and give us information that is needed to support data-driven recommendations for the planning, development, and maintenance of green infrastructure across the region.

When it comes to city planning, we can’t change what we can’t measure.

BGI (working in partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation, the Regional Plan Association, and Numina) launched this unique multi-year study in 2020. We partnered with local communities, multiple Brooklyn-based organizations, and various public agencies (including NYC DOT, NYC Parks, and EDC) to design a replicable model that measures key metrics around Greenway use and Greenway benefits. 

What will the completed User Study do?

Like the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway itself, the User Study provides tangible benefits for communities throughout Brooklyn – and like the BWG, the User Study will provide a model for green infrastructure across the region.

“The Greenway is meant to serve all ages and abilities,” said Hunter Armstrong, Executive Director of Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. “For too long, implementation of New York City’s greenway network has been opportunistic and reactive to other capital projects and public works. This study will generate the data we need to take a more strategic approach. To understand how the Greenway can contribute to a more resilient and equitable borough, we need to know who is using it and how.”

“For example, there may be neighborhoods or whole communities not benefiting from the Greenway today. This study will close the knowledge gap between the anticipated and actual impacts of the infrastructure, enabling BGI and our partners to complete and maintain the Greenway in a way that delivers equal benefits to all Brooklyn residents, employees, and visitors,” Armstrong said.