Gowanus Blue Schools Design Challenge

We Went Virtual for 2020!

Students from M.S. 447, M.S. 88 and Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies took on a design challenge with Gowanus Canal Conservancy to develop green infrastructure design concepts for their school campuses. Students built digital 3D models and received virtual feedback on their projects from designers and engineers that “zoomed in” to students’ classes.

During a live event, students from Brooklyn Collaborative Studies and M.S. 447 presented their innovative school green infrastructure design proposals to a professional jury of designers and changemakers. They imagined how school campuses can accommodate community needs in a meaningful, equitable way, while also reducing environmental impact. Students, teachers, and volunteers also engaged in a dialogue about design and activism, and the importance of advocating for environmental justice.

Watch the student presentations, design and activism chat, and award ceremony on our YouTube page and check out their interactive projects on Padlet.


Meredith McDermott, NYC Schools Office of Sustainability 

Brad Lander, NYC Council District 39

Michaela Labriole, New York Hall of Science 

Mikelle Adgate, NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection

Shino Tanikawa, NYC Soil and Water Conservation District 

Nicholas Pettinati, NYC Dept. of Transportation, ASLA-NY

Brandon Loo, City University of New York

Jessica Goldberg, City University of New York


Ruth Nervig, RAFT Landscape Architecture

Fred Wolf, Nature Based 


Brooklyn Collaborative Studies

Brittany Loomis & William Leou 

M.S. 447 

Cheryl Grau & Michael Ensminger

M.S. 88 

Lynn Shon & Andrew Zimmermann 


Amritha Mahesh, Andrea Johnson, April Schneider, Brandon Loo, Crystal Xing, Eduardo Santamaria, Fiamma Seda, Gloria Lau, Hana Georg, Jeana Fletcher, Jessica Goldberg, Lauren Henfrey, Michelle Lin-Luse, Olyy Ordonez, Omid Iravanipour, Prospero Herrera, Sean Martin, Simon Betsalel, Taranpreet Singh, Yutong Xie


New York Hall of Science 

American Society of Landscape Architects, New York Chapter

The Gowanus Blue Schools green infrastructure design curriculum is available free to any educator. To receive the curriculum, please fill out this quick survey.

This curriculum includes the following 10 missions:

  1. Site Analysis
  2. Stormwater Analysis
  3. Analyze + Brainstorm
  4. Define your Program
  5. Schematic Design
  6. Design Development
  7. Improve Your Design
  8. Design Refinement
  9. Final Design
  10. Get Ready To Present  

Watch the video to learn more!


Con Edison

National Grid 

Funding for this project was provided from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund as administered by a grant from the New York State DEC Environmental Justice Community Impact grant program.