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Downtown Brooklyn Partnership Aims to Make 'DoBro' Next Great College Town

By Janet Upadhye | July 31, 2012 8:30am

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — People rarely think of Downtown Brooklyn when they consider great American college towns. But according to Borough President, Marty Markowitz, the Downtown Brooklyn area has more college students than Cambridge, Mass., home of Harvard and MIT.

With 57,000 students attending eleven colleges and universities, including Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Brooklyn Law School, New York City College of Technology, Pratt Institute, and Long Island University there is no denying that Brooklyn is a destination for students.

And in the new strategic plan unveiled Thursday, The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership plans to engage students in the community in new ways and to bolster Brooklyn’s reputation as home to new generations of literati. And technorati.

The partnership’s first step is to convene with schools’ leadership.

“We cannot begin until we know what the the school’s collective needs and shared priorities are,” said Tucker Reed, president of the partnership. “We are also looking to understand student life better and what it takes to get students to stay after graduation.”

Reed added that it is rare to have a homegrown labor pool and therefore important to make sure education in Brooklyn universities matches the economic opportunities of downtown Brooklyn.

For now though, one plan is in effect: the first ever back to school concert for college students. The lineup and location are yet to be decided.