Sponge Park aims to turn a polluted waterway in Brooklyn, N.Y., into a local attraction that helps mitigate contaminated runoff from combined sewer overflows. A 7.9-acre esplanade and open space is combined with 3.5 acres of remediation wetland basins and a water-management system.

Jury: “This project addresses a common problem in older cities with a striking way to create valuable urban open spaces as a byproduct.”

Client: “One of the greatest challenges presented to Dlandstudio for the Sponge Park project lies in coordinating between so many governmental and nonprofit partners … [as well as] requirements related to scientific rigor and quality control that apply to any project using federal money. There is also a general stigma of the Gowanus being somewhat beyond redemption. Dlandstudio did a very smart thing by partnering with a neighborhood group at the get-go and being level-headed and patient with project partners.”  —Clair Ryan, environmental analyst, New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission