Fall 2021 Events

Connecting newfound friends and longstanding supporters.

For more info, contact:


Stacey Anderson
212 924 7000 x 18

Van Alen Institute helps create equitable cities through inclusive design. What does this mean? We’re making it easier for communities to shape the places where they live by connecting them with our network of professionals and sharing our long experience in how cities are designed and built.

This October, we are excited to launch an event series to connect newfound friends and longstanding supporters with Van Alen’s new home, mission, and the communities we’re servicing. We hope you’ll join us this coming fall alongside the Gowanus community, its leaders, and the many professionals committed to design for public good. We are closely monitoring the evolving health situation and will be responsive to all protocols to ensure attendees are safe and comfortable.

Joining Van Alen as a 2021 supporter grants special access, visibility, and networking opportunities around this series, as well as year-long touchpoints with Van Alen’s work, as outlined in the 2021 Support Tiers & Benefits

Friday, October 1: 303 Bond Welcome Reception

On Friday, October 1 6:30–9, we’ll kick off the series with an evening Welcome Reception at Van Alen’s new Brooklyn base at 303 Bond Street in Gowanus. Housed in a 4000 sq foot former industrial warehouse—spacious and well—this intimate event will inaugurate our new home over drinks and hors d’ourves, live music, and conversation. We invite close friends and supporters to join alongside the Board of Trustees, Van Alen Council, Gowanus Neighborhood Design Fellows, and other special guests. 

Our Gowanus office will not only be a hub for Van Alen operations, but also serve as a community space for the neighborhood, to be co-created with the Gowanus Fellows. For more information about attendance and recognition at the Welcome Reception, please visit our 2021 Support Tiers and Benefits.

Saturday, October 2: Inaugural Block Party

The following afternoon, Saturday, October 2, we’ll celebrate the Gowanus community Van Alen is now a part of during our first ever Block Party, free and open to the public. Transforming a stretch of Sackett Street adjacent to our new office into a joyful party, the event will bring together Gowanus residents, local organizations, and the wider Van Alen network of urbanists and diverse professionals. The festivities will feature musical performances, family-friendly activities, locally-sourced food and drinks, and more.  

The importance of our streets and public spaces came into clear focus in 2020. The Inaugural Van Alen Block Party reflects this ethos and our role in the urban ecosystem — bringing together diverse cross-sections of the city to build social trust and collectively invest in a stronger public realm. 

For more information about sponsor opportunities at the Block Party, please visit our 2021 Support Tiers and Benefits.

Sunday, October 3: Van Alen Council Convening

Van Alen Council in Brooklyn, 2019. Photo: Cameron Blaylock

Each year, the Van Alen Council comes together for a deep-dive exploration and interdisciplinary exchange around the most pressing ecological, infrastructural, political, and social systems and solutions shaping urban futures. This international community of systems-thinkers spanning disciplines will convene in New York City this fall, for the first time since the pandemic and Van Alen’s move to Brooklyn. 

As the city emerges from COVID and sorts out a historic and historically messy mayoral election, the Council will probe the subject of equitable recovery, building off the ideas articulated in their inaugural publication, Designing the City We Want: Calls to Action in Response to COVID-19. Through tours and conversation, the Council will meet diverse leadership, explore impacted communities like Chinatown and the Lower East Side, and glean insights that can shape their work moving forward. 

For more information on opportunities to attend the Council trip, please visit our 2021 Support Tiers and Benefits.