At Van Alen Institute, we believe design can transform cities, landscapes, and regions to improve people’s lives. We collaborate with communities, scholars, policymakers, and professionals on local and global initiatives that rigorously investigate the most pressing social, cultural, and ecological challenges of tomorrow. Building on more than a century of experience, we develop cross disciplinary research, provocative public programs and inventive design competitions.
New York, NY 10010
“The city is my natural habitat,” she declares as a subway train roars along the J/M tracks just outside her South Williamsburg studio, populated with colorful pieces of art, rolls of vinyl, cutting tools, and computers.
We were not a community anymore — we were people living on top of people, brushing past each other, rushing nowhere fast.
These zones remind us that cities really are ours for the making.
Times Square Alliance’s Tim Tompkins on Saving an Imperiled Public Plaza
“Cities are capable of rising from the ashes and it is in public spaces that either decline or revitalization is most quickly and visibly made manifest.”
Times Square’s plazas already embody two important parts of the mayor’s agenda – equity and pedestrian safety – and so we hope that he comes to see them as the incredible amenity that they are.