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Neighborhoods Now:
Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc)

Proposals for landscaping and murals at First Street Green. Courtesy: Henning Larsen
Proposals for landscaping and murals at First Street Green. Courtesy: Henning Larsen
Outdoor theater layout following NYC's Open Restaurant guidelines for Wild Project. Courtesy: Henning Larsen
Open space programming concept design for lot on East 4th Street. Courtesy: DLR Group
Open space programming concept design for lot on East 4th Street. Courtesy: DLR Group
Signage and safety plans for The Clemente. Courtesy: Francis Cauffman Architects
Signage and seating plans for The Clemente's La Plaza Outdoor Festival. Courtesy: Francis Cauffman Architects

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, Washington Heights, and the Lower East Side 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.

Working Group

Fourth Arts Block identified the following priorities:

  • Safer and efficient entry and exit sequencing for all arts buildings
  • Restructuring inside seating that will allow for social distancing and accommodate capacity restrictions and various programming needs
  • Installing ventilation and filtration systems
  • Incorporating wayfinding and signage throughout buildings to handle the flow of visitors

The Fourth Arts Block supports over 40 member organizations in the Lower East Side through community forums, topical gatherings, professional development, workshops, peer shares, and advocacy. In an effort to reactivate twelve of these arts institutions, the Fourth Arts Block partnered with the DLR Group, Francis Cauffman Architects, and Henning Larsen to find safe reopening strategies.

DLR Group worked with La MaMa, Frigid New York, IATI Theater and Teatro Circulo to create outdoor waiting area plans that could extend the lobby and allow for multiple safe entrances. Francis Cauffman Architects worked with The Clemente to plan for signage installation that would aid in wayfinding and making sure social distancing protocol is followed. They also helped with planning seat arrangements for outdoor festivals. Henning Larsen worked with First Street Garden, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Swiss Institute, and Wild Project to plan for outdoor theaters, creating cost-effective mural walls and seating arrangements for indoor events.

DLR Group | Fourth Arts Block, Frigid New York, IATI Theater, Teatro Circulo, and La MaMa

The use of the information contained in these proposal document, “Fourth Arts Block | Summary Recommendations,” “Fourth Arts Block | FABnyc Recommendations,” “Fourth Arts Block | Frigid NY Recommendations,” “Fourth Arts Block | IATI Theater and Teatro Circulo Recommendations,” and “Fourth Arts Block | La MaMa Recommendations” 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.

Francis Cauffman Architects | The Clemente

The use of the information contained in this proposal document, “Neighborhoods Now: The Clemente,” 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.

Henning Larsen | Wild Project, Swiss Institute, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and First Street Green

The use of the information contained in these proposal documents, “Neighborhoods Now Initiative: Wild Project,” “Neighborhoods Now Initiative: Swiss Institute,” “Neighborhoods Now Initiative: Nuyorican Poets Cafe,” and “Neighborhoods Now Initiative: First Street Green,” 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.