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All renderings via New York City Mayor’s Office

Since 1983, the Public Design Commission has honored outstanding examples of public projects as part of its Annual Awards for Excellence in Design, which takes place during NYCxDesign every May.

The Commission — which is comprised of 11 members including an architect, painter, sculptor and representatives of the Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Public Library, and the Mayor” — select the winning projects from hundreds of submissions that include developments proposed on city-owned properties, playgrounds, plazas, streetscape elements, signage, the construction and restoration of buildings, and more.

This year’s winning projects aim to not only enhance neighborhoods, but also to preserve history and promote sustainability. As Mayor Bill de Blasio noted in a statement: “The best public projects are purposeful and use design to build a sense of community and civic pride. We commend the teams behind these critical and creative projects that will help build a stronger, more equitable city and improve services and recreational activities for every New Yorker.”

Spanning across the boroughs, here’s a look at the eight winning projects (and three special recognitions) of the 35th Annual Awards of Excellence in Design:

11. Treetop Adventure Zipline and Nature Trek

The Bronx Zoo will soon be home to another attraction: The forthcoming Treetop Adventure Zipline will allow visitors to zip 45-feet above the Bronx River and its surrounding forest. A second component, called Nature Trek, includes a 14-foot-high netted course, featuring 12 enclosed bridges, narrows beams, vertical obstacles and wiggling surfaces, in addition to a ground-level activity zone designed for kids.

Participants can get closer to local nature while traversing the course, which is also comprised of platforms themed as a tree house and bird’s nest.

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