Elements of Urbanism - Brooklyn, New York

August 11, 2010 13 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Brooklyn is New York City's most populous borough with approximately 2.5 million residents, and second largest in area.

Tale of the Tape:

Brooklyn Population 2008: 2,556,598 (City); 19,006,798 (Metro - New York) - (incorporated in 1634, annexed by City of New York 1898)

Jacksonville Pop. 2008: 807,815 (City); 1,313,228 (Metro) - (incorporated in 1822)

City population 1950: Jacksonville (204,517); Brooklyn (2,738,175)

City Land Area

Brooklyn: 70.61 square miles
Jacksonville: 757.7 square miles

Metropolitan Area Growth rate (2000-2009)

Brooklyn: +4.1%
Jacksonville: +15.86%

Urban Area Population (2000 census)

New York: 8,008,288 (ranked 1 nationwide)
Jacksonville: 882,295 (ranked 43 nationwide)

Urban Area Population Density (2000 census)

Brooklyn: 36,356
New York: 5,435.7
Jacksonville: 2,149.2

City Population Growth from 2000 to 2009

Brooklyn: +101,772
Jacksonville: +72,312

Convention Center Exhibition Space:

Brooklyn (New York): Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (1986) - 675,000 square feet
Jacksonville: Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center (1985) - 78,500 square feet

Connected to Convention Center:

New York: No Hotels Directly attached.  Too many hotels to list within walking distance.
Jacksonville: N/A

Tallest Building:

Brooklyn: The Brooklyner (Apartment Building) - 514 feet
New York: Empire State Building - 1,250 feel
Jacksonville: Bank of America Tower - 617 feet


Fortune 500 companies 2010 (City limits only):

New York - 42: J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (9), Citigroup (12), Verizon Communications (13), American International Group (16), Goldman Sachs Group (39), Pfizer (40), MetLife (51), New York Life Insurance (64), Morgan Stanley (70), News Corp. (76), Hess (79), Time Warner (82), American Express (88), TIAA-CREF (90), Philip Morris International (94), Travelers Cos. (98), Bristol-Myers Squibb (114), Alcoa (127), Time Warner Cable  (131), L-3 Communications (148), Colgate-Palmolive (151), Loews (165), Viacom (170), Consolidated Edison (175), CBS (177), Omnicom Group (198), Marsh & McLennan (221), Avon Products (228), Guardian Life Ins. Co. of America (237), Assurant (268), Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (274), Icahn Enterprises  (290), Estée Lauder (308), Interpublic Group (358), Virgin Media (359), McGraw-Hill (363), Dover (367), Barnes & Noble (372), Polo Ralph Lauren (417), Foot Locker (428), BlackRock (441), NYSE Euronext (444)

Jacksonville - 3: CSX (259), Winn-Dixie (306), Fidelity National Financial (366)

Common Downtown Albatross:


Who's Downtown is more walkable?

Brooklyn: 95 out of 100, according to walkscore.com (N 7th Street and Bedford Avenue as keyword)
Jacksonville: 88 out of 100, according to walkscore.com

Visual Information

Green = Jacksonville's city limits (current urban core) before consolidation in 1968
Red = Jacksonville's current consolidated city-county limits

Jacksonville's current and original city limit boundaries over New York City's land area. Jacksonville's urban core is slightly smaller than The Bronx in land area.

About Brooklyn

Brooklyn is New York City's most populous borough with 2.5 million residents, and second largest in area. It is also the western most county (Borough) on Long Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County (Manhattan). Brooklyn was an independent city until its consolidation with New York City in 1898, and continues to maintain a distinct culture, independent art scene, and unique architectural heritage. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves where particular ethnic groups and cultures predominate.


McCarran Park

McCarren Park is a public park in New York City, USA. It is located in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, and is bordered by Nassau Avenue, Bayard Street, Lorimer Street and North 12th Street. It is operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

Originally named Greenpoint Park, the park was renamed McCarren Park in 1909 after Patrick Henry McCarren (1847-1909), an Irish immigrant who worked in the Williamsburg sugar refineries and eventually became a powerful State Senator in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The park is a popular destination for recreational softball, volleyball, soccer, handball, and other games. It is also used for sunbathing and dog-walking. In late 2004, the park's track was resurfaced and has been a popular destination for running enthusiasts.

Events on the baseball fields of McCarren Park include members of the punk and indie communities gathering to participate in league-controlled kickball tournaments. For several years, the baseball fields have hosted tournament play for the Hasidim; weekend afternoons provide T-ball and softball games for organized area youth groups; Latino families and friends often utilize the fields to play soccer and volleyball into the late hours of the night.

Since June 2003, McCarren Park has hosted The Renegade Craft Fair, a DIY event. The fair attracts artists and creative types, featuring a wide range of merchandise such as reconstructed clothing, comic books, tote bags and other handmade goods.

McCarren Park Pool

McCarren Pool was the eighth of eleven giant pools built by the Works Progress Administration to open during the summer of 1936. Mayor Fiorello La Guardia attended the dedication on July 31, 1936. With an original capacity for 6800 swimmers, the pool served as the summertime social hub for Greenpoint and Williamsburg. The building's vast scale and dramatic arches, designed by Aymar Embury II, typify the generous and heroic spirit of New Deal architecture.

The pool was closed in 1984.

In the past decade, the vacant pool has been used for concerts, events, and film screenings
Currently, the City of New York is renovating the pool, the original size of which is almost exactly the size of four olympic-size swimming pools side by side.  It will change the original square-shaped pool into a U-shape, with the remaining area used as a "beach" in the summer, and a ice skating rink in the winter.


Prospect Park is a 585-acre public park in central Brooklyn. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designers of Manhattan's Central Park. Attractions include the Long Meadow, a 90-acre meadow, the Picnic House, which houses offices and a hall that can accommodate parties with up to 175 guests; Litchfield Villa, the home of Edwin Clark Litchfield, an early developer of the neighborhood and a former owner of a southern section of the Park; Prospect Park Zoo; a large nature conservancy managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society; The Boathouse, housing a visitors center and the first urban Audubon Center; Brooklyn's only lake, covering 60 acres; the Prospect Park Bandshell that hosts free outdoor concerts in the summertime; and various sports and fitness activities including seven baseball fields.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

With a rapidly growing population and high densities already, New York City has virtually nowhere to put new parkland - except for on its riverfront. Over the past decade, the city has been replacing broken-down piers and abandoned industrial zones with green spaces on the Hudson and East Rivers, hoping to give New Yorkers a respite from the grayness of the urban grid.

Brooklyn is no exception to the rule, and locals have been pushing for years to have its waterfront transformed. Last week, we saw a major step in that direction with the opening of the first segment of the Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park sits under the world-famous bridge, on land used for freight shipping until the early 1980s.

The first section of the park, a 9.5-acre expanse called Pier 1, is mostly grass. But it also includes a playground and a series of steps leading towards the river called the "Granite Prospect."

Photos by Daniel Herbin and Steve Congro.