About Neighborhoods Now
In collaboration with the Urban Design Forum, Neighborhoods Now connects neighborhoods hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic with leading design firms. In Bed-Stuy, Jackson Heights, Kingsbridge, and Washington Heights, these working groups are collaborating to develop safe and effective reopening strategies.
The outcomes are a set of design recommendations, prototypes, and installations empowering communities to respond to their immediate needs, while contributing to the city-wide strategy on pandemic response. In some neighborhoods, prototypes have already been implemented, and Van Alen and Urban Design Forum are actively fundraising to support additional implementation.
Learn more about Neighborhoods Now.
The Bed-Stuy Gateway BID identified the following priorities:
- COVID-19 education and awareness
- Reopening strategies for local businesses
- Amplification of meaningful artistic voices within the community
- Play areas for children’s activities
- Comfortable, shaded, and safe places for outdoor respite
Design Advocates, Grimshaw, Jaklitsch/Gardner, Moody Nolan, and W Architecture collaborated with the Bed Stuy Gateway BID. The working group identified ways to activate Marcy Plaza, envisioning a hub for socially distanced activities including an outdoor art gallery amplifying local artists, podium-style seating for outdoor events, and a pop-up playground with swings and a library. In December of 2020, they helped convert the space into a COVID-safe Winter Wonderland holiday market for local businesses.
They are now exploring design solutions for mitigating rats in the neighborhood and working with Alloy and law firm Fried Frank organize a mediation between landlords and small businesses owners to aid with lease negotiations.
The use of the information contained in this proposal document, “Bed-Stuy Now: Presentation of Concepts for the Bed-Stuy Gateway BID,” is at the sole risk of the user, and Van Alen Institute shall not be responsible for, or liable in any way for, the accuracy, completeness or any other matter with respect to the contents herein. The user hereby assumes all risks of the use of the information, and irrevocably and unconditionally waives, releases and discharges Van Alen Institute and its direct and indirect members, directors, officers, employees, agents, affiliates, volunteers and representatives, from any and all liability of any kind or nature whatsoever, in connection with the matters contained herein, and the use of the information contained herein.