Residents to Take Action on Brownsville’s Future at Weeklong Hope Summit

October 8, 2015
Brownsville residents will take their neighborhood into their own hands next week as Community Solutions, the Municipal Arts Society, and a roster of community organizations host the 3rd annual Brownsville Hope Summit. In a week free of the bureaucracy that often impedes urban design and infrastructure changes, residents and local businesses will take concrete, on-the-spot actions to improve parks in need of overhaul, revitalize once-vacant lots, physically makeover streets that have suffered from years of disinvestment, and collaborate around plans for the future. At the end of the week, Brownsville will look different and will physically reflect a resident-driven vision for public space.
The weeklong calendar of community design events is being held in conjunction with Cooper Hewitt's National Design Week. The guerilla-style placemaking approach is inspired by the Better Block movement, which has helped residents transform communities around the world.
“Resident visioning has long been central to the work of revitalization in Brownsville,” said Rosanne Haggerty, president of Community Solutions and this year’s Cooper Hewitt Design Mind Award winner. “In response to past Hope Summits, we have helped implement permanent infrastructure changes, but there is something uniquely powerful about residents and local businesses claiming their own neighborhood by literally re-imagining and building the community they want to live in.”
Home to the largest concentration of public housing in New York City, Brownsville, Brooklyn has suffered from years of disinvestment, leading critical infrastructure to crumble, street safety to diminish, and once-bustling commercial corridors to lose foot traffic. In spite of these challenges, each year’s Hope Summit reveals a strongly aspirational community, and this year, residents will turn their aspirations into action.
  • Community Solutions
  • Brownsville Partnership
  • Municipal Arts Society
  • Brownsville Community Justice Center
  • Made In Brownsville
  • Project EATS
  • Cooper Hewitt National Design Week
The Hope Summit - A week long series of neighborhood-informed design and placemaking events in Brownsville, Brooklyn
  • Saturday October 10
Be on Belmont Street Festival & Belmont Better Block day
Participants will create and install street seating, planters and other street improvement assets
Host: Brownsville Community Justice Center
Belmont Ave between Rockaway Ave and Watkins St
12pm - 6pm
Osborn Street Mural Unveiling
A new outdoor mural will be unveiled in celebration of the Brownsville community
Host: Made in Brownsville
Osborn St and Belmont Ave
2pm - 6pm
  • Wednesday, October 14
Brownsville Neighborhood Scorecard Design Session
A human-centered design workshop, in which residents and local stakeholders will work with graphic designers to discuss and prototype the Brownsville Neighborhood Scorecard, a quarterly index of neighborhood conditions to help organize for change and track improvements in the community
Host: Community Solutions
Gregory Jackson Center for Brownsville, 519 Rockaway Ave
1pm - 4pm
  • Friday, October 16
​​Hope Summit Reception
Join residents and local stakeholders to celebrate progress in Brownsville and recognize outstanding local leaders
Host: Community Solutions
Gregory Jackson Center for Brownsville, 519 Rockaway Ave
5:30pm - 8pm
  • Saturday, October 17

MGB POPS 1-Year Anniversary Party & Mother Gaston Blvd Better Block Day
Join Community Solutions for the 1-year anniversary of MGB POPS, an open air marketplace that grew out of previous Hope Summit planning events
Host: Community Solutions
MGB POPS Marketplace, 425 Mother Gaston Blvd
2pm - 7pm

Betsy Head Park It’s My Park Project
Host: NYC Department of Parks
Betsy Head Park, Dumont Ave
10am - 3pm
Project EATS Harvest Festival
Host: Project EATS
The Brownsville Farm, Corner of Chester St and Dumont Ave
11am - 3pm
Community Solutions is a national non-profit organization working toward a future without homelessness, where poverty never follows families beyond a single generation. We adapt the best tools and technologies from multiple sectors to help communities solve their most urgent social problems. Our initiatives include the 100,000 Homes Campaign, the Brownsville Partnership and Zero: 2016, among others.