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Franklin Avenue Rezoning Shadow Analysis


Franklin Avenue Rezoning Shadow Analysis

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

We were approached by MTOPP to ascertain the effects of two proposed developments in the neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Together with Scalar Architecture, we illustrated the impact of shadows that would be produced by the developments.

We found that the developments would result in adverse shadow impacts. We recommended for a full EIS (Environmental Impact Study) review --- where the effects from both proposed developments are to be studied conjointly, versus independent development studies.

Project leaders: 
Julio Salcedo-Fernandez, B Arch, M Arch, NYSRA, EURA, LEED AP, Scalar Architecture
Michael Sorkin, Terreform Center For Advanced Urban Research

Team: Carlos Torres, B Arch, COLRA; Andrea Johnson, MLA, Terreform, Research Director; Cecilia Fagel, B Arch, M Design Management; Vaishnavi Reddy, B Arch

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*** For 2019 Updates: Follow Movement to Protect the People / Flower Lovers Advocating for Communities

Scalar Architecture and Terreform testified at the Department of City Planning (DCP website, photos, DCP video)

Franklin Avenue Rezoning, Shadows, And Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Position (Bklyner)

Throwing Shade? Is Brooklyn’s building boom a threat to the iconic Brooklyn Botanic Garden? (Metrofocus/PBS video)

Shadows Used As A Tool To Fight Big Brooklyn Developments (NY1, video)

In the black: New shadow study of Crown Heights towers shows dim future for Botanic Garden, Prospect Park (Brooklyn Paper)

Shadow Studies in Crown Heights (Our Time Press)

Terreform and Scalar Architecture presented their findings at CB9 Public Hearing. (photo)

Crown Heights is one of Brooklyn’s most rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods and it appears firms like Cornell and Continuum wouldn’t mind killing a few precious plants if it means lining their pockets with a different kind of greenery. (Indypendent)

“There has to be a point where we draw the line as communities,” said activist Alicia Boyd, who’s lived there for 19 years. Boyd says enough is enough, and she’s not alone. Thousands signed her petition. (CBS)

“It’s 17.3 acres of shadows that will be cast by these proposed buildings, it’s too much,” Ellis said. (PIX 11) 

In addition, Elizabeth Reina-Longoria, a spokeswoman for the Botanic Garden, said, “BBG is strongly advocating to maintain the site’s current zoning – which now caps building height to six or seven stories – which was put in place, in part, to protect the garden’s conservatories from building shadows.” (Brooklyn Eagle)

“These shadows actually go past the Garden and touch Prospect Park,” said MTOPP - Movement to Protect the People (amNewYork)

"If the NYCPlanning was concerned about 13 story buildings having a negative effect upon the BrooklynBotanic Garden," Unity for Flatbush organizers wrote in their call to action on Friday, "then clearly 42 would be catastrophic." (Prospect Heights Patch)

#URZonedOut contributor Sam Stein 
"it would take a “whole new system” to better look at the impact on neighborhood housings costs associated with new projects." (

Alicia Boyd from Movement to Protect the People discussed a developer's plans to build tall buildings around the Brooklyn Botanic Garden despite existing protections and an upcoming forum on shadows and sun glare on 6/20.  (WBAI 99.5 FM New York)

Terreform and Scalar Architecture presented their findings at MTOPP Shadow and Sun-Glare Forum. (Event info)


MTOPP Shadow and Sun-Glare Forum

Terreform Research Director Andrea Johnson and Scalar Architecture Carlos Torres

Professor Tom Angotti - Emeritus at Hunter College
Professor Brent Porter - Pratt Institute
Professor Julio Salcedo-Fernandez - City College School of Architecture.
Alicia Boyd, MS, MA – The Movement To Protect The People
Imani Henry MSW, MPA – Equality for Flabush
Ellen Haywood - Committee on 100 for a Free BBG

The event was held at St Francis De Sales School For The Deaf on June 20, 2018.