BROOKLYN - Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a series of initiatives in downtown Brooklyn today. The goal is to make sure the area continues to grow as a dynamic economic, cultural and educational hub.

The mayor says the city is investing in new parks and public spaces. Fox Square should be finished by early next year and Willoughby Square by the end of 2016. Bam Park is also set to reopen to the public after being closed for decades.

The so-called 'Brooklyn Strand' will be reinvented by turning the parks, plazas and greenways between Borough Hall and Brooklyn Bridge Park into a promenade.

There are also plans to make the streets safer and more inviting.

The city is also looking to create a Business Improvement District for the 'Brooklyn Cultural District' and create more retail space on the ground floors of city-owned buildings. 

There are hopes that the 11 major education institutions in the area can collaborate to make downtown Brooklyn a national leader in technology.