In March 2017, the City announced that Brownsville would be home to NYC’s first Neighborhood Innovation Lab.

The initiative brings together community residents, government, educators, and tech companies to research, develop and demonstrate
innovative solutions to improve quality of life and enhance city services.

Press Release

Local Expertise

Brownsville’s Community Tech Advisory Board

Brownsville Community Justice Center serves as the lead community partner for the Brownsville Neighborhood Innovation Lab, and has led the formation of a community tech advisory board consisting of residents and civic leaders, including community organizers, local entrepreneurs, and social service professionals.

These community leaders will play a critical role as strategic advisors involved in the local governance of the initiative, including helping to shape public programs and technology demonstrations in Osborn Plaza and throughout Brownsville.

Community advisors include:

Jimmi Brevil
Brooklyn Community Board 16
Pernell S. Brice, III
Dream Big Foundation
Anthony Collins
Bloc Bully IT Solutions
Nakisha Evans
City University of New York
Erica Mateo
Brownsville Community Justice Center
Daniel Murphy
Pitkin Avenue BID
Layman Lee
Brownsville Partnership
Quardean Lewis-Allen
Made in Brownsville
Duane Kinnon
The Kinnon Group
Johnnymae Robinson
What About The Children
Mary Tobin
Brownsville Partnership
Samuel Walker
Engineering for Kids
Clinton Dyer
Legal Hand
James Brodick
Brownsville Community Justice Center
Jaydell Howard
Brooklyn Health Action Center
Stephany Garcia
The Knowledge House
Keith Tubbs
Office of NYS Assembly Member Latrice Walker
Daren Duffie
Made in Brownsville
Jamar Smith
Made in Brownsville
Lennie Carter
Ellen Mehling
Brooklyn Public Library

Additional partners include:

Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams
Office of Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke
Office of NYS Senator Jesse Hamilton
Office of NYS Assembly Member Latrice Walker
Office of NYC Council Member Rafael Espinal
Brooklyn Public Library

Community Forums + Strategic Priorities for Brownsville

Brownsville’s Neighborhood Innovation Lab kicked off in March 2017 with a series strategic planning sessions and community forums focused on defining neighborhood needs and exploring how smart city technologies can help improve quality of life and support local economic development.

Top priorities emerging from this work include improving safety and cleanliness of public spaces, and strengthening access to healthy foods. In partnership with City agencies, these priorities will be used to guide open Calls for Innovation (CFIs) and future technology demonstrations.

Click here to sign up to receive email updates on upcoming events and opportunities.

technologies to be demonstrated at Osborn Plaza

Technology Demonstrations at Osborn Plaza

Osborn Plaza, a public space in the heart of Brownsville, serves as the anchor site for the Brownsville Neighborhood Innovation Lab’s public programs and technology demonstrations.

The first set of technologies to be demonstrated at Osborn Plaza include the newest iteration of the Bigbelly solar-powered smart waste and recycling system, which can hold up to five-times the amount of a regular trash bin and uses sensors to notify maintenance crews when it is full, and two Soofa smart benches, which use solar power to offer free charging for mobile devices.

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Tech Education Programs

New tech education programs for Brownsville youth kick off in July 2017 at Osborn Plaza, starting with a hands-on workshop where elementary and middle school students will learn about STEM concepts by building solar-powered toy cars. The workshops are part of a new “Young Innovators Program” supported by BNY Mellon to spur interest in technology careers and create pathways for young people to join and diversify New York City’s thriving digital economy.

Over the course of a year, the program expects to reach roughly 1,000 Brownsville youth through interactive workshops and technology demonstrations. In addition, 36 high school-aged youth and high school graduates from Brownsville will be invited to participate in an intensive skill development and professional training program that uses project-based learning to teach the foundations of product design and application development. The new program will be managed by the Brownsville Community Justice Center and aims to serve as a bridge to connect young adults to industry partnerships like the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline.

Click here to sign up to receive email updates on upcoming events.

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