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Two NYCDEP Projects Recognized at Public Design Commission Awards for Excellence

Continuing the City’s work to limit combined sewer overflows into the Gowanus Canal, this proposed 8-million-gallon underground tank and associated headhouse will intercept and store combined sewage during wet weather events.

The Gowanus headhouse affords visitors the opportunity to learn through digital graphics about the inner workings of the facility and the history of Gowanus.

The Department of Environmental Protection pioneered the Bluebelt system over 20 years ago as a means to manage stormwater runoff through natural drainage corridors including wetlands, ponds, and streams.

(NEW YORK, NY - July 9, 2019) - Two New York City Department of Environmental Protection projects were recently recognized at the New York City Public Design Commission Awards for Excellence.

The Gowanus Combined Sewer Overflow Facility and Open Space project was given an Award for Excellence, while the Bluebelt Program received special recognition.

Continuing the City’s work to limit combined sewer overflows into the Gowanus Canal, this proposed 8-million-gallon underground tank and associated headhouse will intercept and store combined sewage during wet weather events. The 1.6-acre open space offers multipurpose passive recreation and a waterfront esplanade while allowing for maintenance access to the tanks below. Along Nevins Street, the sloped planted edge is punctuated with symbolic reveals of the tank beneath. To complement these subtle glimpses of the wastewater infrastructure, the headhouse affords visitors the opportunity to learn through digital graphics about the inner workings of the facility and the history of Gowanus.

The Department of Environmental Protection pioneered the Bluebelt system over 20 years ago as a means to manage stormwater runoff through natural drainage corridors including wetlands, ponds, and streams. These natural features are enhanced to better convey, store, and filter stormwater before it is discharged into the local waterway. To date, over 70 Bluebelt projects have been completed in Staten Island and Queens.

The Public Design Commission reviews permanent works of architecture, landscape architecture, and art proposed on or over City-owned property. Since 1983, the Commission has recognized thoughtful and innovative public projects with its Annual Awards for Excellence in Design. Selected from the hundreds of submissions reviewed by the Commission the previous year, these winning projects exemplify a well-rounded approach to design that goes beyond aesthetics to create meaningful and welcoming civic spaces and resilient infrastructure.