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Help us reclaim a long-lost public walkway in the NYC harbor and reconnect to the water
Help us reclaim a long-lost public walkway in the NYC harbor and reconnect to the water
511 backers pledged $25,631 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Citizen Bridge: a floating pedestrian bridge project video thumbnail
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$25,631

511

Current Rendering, Fall 2015
Current Rendering, Fall 2015

The first citizen-built and longest temporary bridge in New York City history, Citizen Bridge is a floating pedestrian bridge to reclaim the city’s waterways as public space. As a 1400-foot span from Brooklyn to Governor's Island, Citizen Bridge will offer participants an experience of the New York City harbor unlike any other. It is designed to create an intimate experience of being with the water, rather than seeing it from the shore, above from a bridge, or in transport by boat or ferry.

Why we need your backing  
Citizen Bridge is about the collective power of citizens to reshape their cities, from the waterline up. Normally, large pieces of infrastructure are instruments of political will; in this case, Citizen Bridge is an act of community goodwill. The bulk of the work on this project has been entirely volunteer-based with nearly 200 individuals—from neighborhood kids to writers and boat captains—across various backgrounds giving their expertise and time to get the project this far. We have come extraordinarily far in the design and regulatory development of the project. We are now at a point where we can't advance further without you.

Proposed pathway location
Proposed pathway location

Why now? 
Between the changing climate and ever-expanding city population, the waterways present a unique opportunity. With increasingly urgent predictions about weather events and sea-level rise, especially in coastal cities like New York City, water will impact our future in many ways. As populations rise, personal space and public space will decrease, but the waterways that surround us are a virtually untapped resource. They are our backyard, a space and place to relax that’s free to everyone. Now is the time to reconnect to the waterways and regain them as our own. Citizen Bridge is the catalyst to begin that process. 

An annual & international vision  
Because of current waterways usage, Citizen Bridge can only be installed for a 24-hour span. However, we aren’t doing all this work for a single day: we aim to return year after year. Inspired by New York City’s Summer Streets program that closes nine miles of Park Avenue to weekend automobile traffic, Citizen Bridge aspires to Summer Waterways, where locals and tourists alike can have new experiences on the waterways, free from large commercial marine traffic. And because the climate change challenges facing New York City aren’t unique, and citizens all over the United States and beyond have become disconnected from their waterways, Citizen Bridge also aims to travel to waterways beyond Brooklyn.

A Rigorous Research & Development Process Citizen Bridge is in its fourth year of development. During that time, we’ve engaged in a wide variety of artistic, technical, community- and consensus-building activities and have contacted all the necessary regulatory agencies. We have learned the concerns of those that manage traffic on the waterways, protect the natural ecology of the waterways and those that oversee safety and security, as well as those who own the land on either side of Buttermilk Channel.  

So far, we have prototyped seven bridge designs in full-scale sections. The first six were designed, crafted and tested by teams of students, designers, boat-builders and fellow Brooklyners. That process garnered the interest of engineers at Thornton Tomasetti, a top global engineering firm whose expertise ranges from bridges to mobile buildings to submarines, and Glosten, a marine engineering firm whose expertise with floating structures is world-renown.

Together, we designed and built the Superblock Prototype, our seventh and the first full engineered prototype, last summer. The Superblock’s success paved the way for our next phase, a proof-of-concept span that will deepen our understanding of operations, logistics, and safety systems as well as integrate anchorage systems into the design for the first time.

The Citizen Bridge Team
Today, the Citizen Bridge team includes expertise in structural and marine engineering, large-scale artworks and mobile architecture, New York City construction and bureaucracy, marine construction, architecture, environmental law, and event production. To date the project has been supported by extraordinary New York City and Brooklyn arts institutions like the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Recess, Pioneer Works, and Eyebeam. We have been generously supported by the Brooklyn Arts Council, Two Trees Management, and Estate4.

Superblock Prototype, Citizen Bridge No. 7
Superblock Prototype, Citizen Bridge No. 7
Collaboration on Prototype No. 2, 2013
Collaboration on Prototype No. 2, 2013

Citizen Bridge won't continue without your help.
We've come this far thanks to Two Trees Management, Estate4, Brooklyn Arts Council, Recess, Eyebeam, Pioneer Works, Thornton Tomasetti, Glosten, Gotham Drywall, iDEKO, DLA Piper US, Stroock, Stroock & Lavan LLP as well as all the contributors listed below:

Contributors to date
Contributors to date

REWARDS

Between Land and Sea, An Alphabet
Between Land and Sea, An Alphabet
NOAA map collage
NOAA map collage
CITIZEN & BRIDGE T-shirts: choose or get both!
CITIZEN & BRIDGE T-shirts: choose or get both!
CITIZEN & BRIDGE baseball caps: choose or get both!
CITIZEN & BRIDGE baseball caps: choose or get both!
Silk-screened postcard set
Silk-screened postcard set
Oceanic New York
Oceanic New York

Risks and challenges

Because Citizen Bridge defies standard permitting categories, obtaining the necessary permits and/or insurance for this phase of the project may cause unforeseen delays.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    BRIDGE BUILDER
    Become a Citizen bridge builder. Donate $5 and you'll be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    BRIDGE BUILDER SHOUT OUT
    Become a Citizen bridge builder AND get a shout out on social media. You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    50 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    CITIZEN UNIFORM: T-SHIRT
    Show your support for Citizen Bridge with a CITIZEN or a BRIDGE t-shirt.

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    61 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    CITIZEN UNIFORM: BASEBALL CAP
    Show your support for Citizen Bridge with a CITIZEN or a BRIDGE cap.

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SILKSCREENED POSTCARDS
    Set of 4 metaphors for doing the impossible, hand-silkscreened on acid-free paperstock. Keep and frame, or send to share the love.

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    65 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SIGNED COPY OF OCEANIC NEW YORK
    An anthology including writings by the artist about Citizen Bridge, this Book remembers that the City was founded on Ocean, peopled by its currents, grew rich on its traffic. The storm taught what we should never have forgotten: under New York’s asphalt lies not beach but Ocean.

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    Limited 11 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    8x8" PHOTOGRAPH
    Receive a print from Citizen Bridge's instagram feed. You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    15 backers
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    Pledge $37 or more About $37

    SIGNED COPY OF OCEANIC NEW YORK
    An anthology including writings by the artist about Citizen Bridge, this Book remembers that the City was founded on Ocean, peopled by its currents, grew rich on its traffic. The storm taught what we should never have forgotten: under New York’s asphalt lies not beach but Ocean.

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 8 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    BE THE BRIDGE!
    Go for both CITIZEN and BRIDGE T-shirts to wear and share. You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    34 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    BE THE BRIDGE
    Go for both BOTH CITIZEN and BRIDGE baseball caps to wear and share. You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    11 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    FULL KIT
    Receive your choice of t-shirt, you choice of cap & postcard set

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    33 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    PERSONAL BRIDGE: TWEET or TEXT
    The artist will build, rebuild, or burn a (figurative) bridge for you.

    Is there someone or something with whom you want to connect, or reconnect, or disconnect completely (and dramatically?) For $100, the artist will send a tweet or text on your behalf (phone number/Twitter handle required).

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    BETWEEN LAND AND SEA, AN ALPHABET
    Inspired by nautical flag communication, a silkscreened 16" x 20" first edition print of the sign system created by the artist for the bridge.

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    Limited 19 backers
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    PERSONAL BRIDGE: TWEET or TEXT
    The artist will build, rebuild, or burn a (figurative) bridge for you.

    Is there someone or something with whom you want to connect, or reconnect, or disconnect completely (and dramatically?) For $120, the artist will send a tweet or text on your behalf (phone number/Twitter handle required).

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    Limited 2 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    PERSONAL BRIDGE: EMAIL
    The artist will build, rebuild, or burn a (figurative) bridge for you.

    Is there someone or something with whom you want to connect, or reconnect, or disconnect completely (and dramatically?) The artist will send an email on your behalf (current email address required).

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    Pledge $170 or more About $170

    PERSONAL BRIDGE: EMAIL
    The artist will build, rebuild, or burn a (figurative) bridge for you.

    Is there someone or something with whom you want to connect, or reconnect, or disconnect completely (and dramatically?) The artist will send an email on your behalf (current email address required).

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    Pledge $185 or more About $185

    PERSONAL BRIDGE: LETTER
    The artist will build, rebuild, or burn a (figurative) bridge for you.

    Is there someone or something with whom you want to connect, or reconnect, or disconnect completely (and dramatically?) The artist will send a type or handwritten letter on your behalf (current mailing address required).

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    LIMITED EDITION COLLAGE
    NOAA map of the New York City Harbor with Citizen Bridge added. Amplifying the beauty of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's navigation map No.12335 of the New York City Harbor is a hand-collaged representation of Citizen Bridge.

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    FLOAT A BIG IDEA
    The artist will consult with you on your own impossible project or big idea. If you can't afford this on your own, pool resources and the artist will meet with your group either in person (if in New York City) or via Skype/Google Hangout.

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    TEAM MEMBER FOR A DAY
    Join the Citizen Bridge team for a day during next phase construction. Receive a special tour of the project site, meet the rest of the team, and celebrate our days' work together. If outside New York, backers must pay for travel and lodging to join the crew for the day.

    Team members also receive full Citizen kit containing t-shirt, hat and postcards.

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    Limited 3 backers
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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    NAMING (AND BRAGGING) RIGHTS
    Sponsor one segment of the next phase, and receive a copy of the plaque installed on site.

    Naming rights include Bridge Crew for a Day and Full Kit.

    You'll also be listed in the Contributors' Registry at the next and future project phase completions.

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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)