In the summer of 2008 the Design Trust asked CUP to create educational programming about Grand Army Plaza. CUP worked with high school students from Brooklyn College’s College Now program to investigate how a redesign of Grand Army Plaza might actually get implemented.

To find out how decisions get made, the crew interviewed folks from the city’s Department of Design and Construction, the Prospect Park Alliance, and the Department of Transportation; they took photographs, traced maps, pulled quotes, and punched keys to create a large-format poster that looks at how big ideas get built.

The poster was featured in an a free, outdoor, public exhibition in the center of the Plaza that was seen by over 100,000 people. In addition to the poster students made a zine called How to Build Something/Not Build Something that explores the logistics of reshaping public space in New York City.

In the Spring of 2012 the poster was reprinted for the exhibition Brooklyn Utopias at the Old Stone House. CUP’s Valeria Mogilevich and Urban Investigation participant Daniel Linton joined representatives from The Trust for Public Land and Groundswell in a public conversation that looked at the role of community in re-shaping parks and other public spaces.

Resources & Links

College Now is a free City University of New York program, designed to prepare NYC’s public high school students for success in college.

The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) focuses on major city construction projects. It builds many of the civic facilities New Yorkers use every day, such as: firehouses, libraries, police precincts, courthouses, and senior centers.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) works to provide for the safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible movement of people and goods in the City of New York and to maintain and enhance the transportation infrastructure crucial to the economic vitality and quality of life of city residents.

The Design Trust for Public Space is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public space in New York City. In the spring 2008 they launched the Reinventing Grand Army Plaza ideas competition.

The Grand Army Plaza Coalition (GAPCo) is an alliance of stakeholders in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, encompassing community groups, cultural organizations, and advocates who work together to improve the welfare of Grand Army Plaza.

The Prospect Park Alliance is a public-private partnership with the city that supports the restoration and preservation of the Brooklyn park.

Funding Support

This project was made possible through public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and the Bay and Paul Foundations.

Special Thanks

Tupper Thomas, Michael Cairl, Joe Sopiak, Chris Hrones, Ethan Kent, Stephanie Elson


  • CUP
  • Teaching Artists
  • Cassie Thornton
  • Valeria Mogilevich
  • Project Lead
  • Rosten Woo
  • CUNY College Now 
  • at Brooklyn College
  • Students
  • Najlah Desravines 
  • Rebecca Leger 
  • Daniel Linton 
  • Iseult Leger 
  • Jessie Chen 
  • Stephanie Camacho 
  • Khalila Blake 
  • Rislyn Hirsh 
  • Carolyn Henry-Williams 
  • Dominick Lynn
    • Project Coordinators
    • Lee Schere 
      Pieranna Pieroni