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.
82nd Street Partnership identified the following priorities:
- Swift, safe reopening strategies for local businesses
- Assistance for restaurants to participate in the city’s Open Restaurants program
- Increased shading and more welcoming exterior spaces
The working group aimed to address the immediate needs of the neighborhood’s restaurants with proposals for responsive set-ups and shading along the street, ultimately helping over 20 businesses participate in the city’s Open Restaurants program. A vacant storefront was converted into a field office for aiding these efforts, organizing a Plant & Party to enliven the streetscape, and distributing information about social distancing protocols, career education, and anti-racism resources.
Continued support for the neighborhood is being directed towards exploration of a plaza for Elmhurst Hospital, and usage of the Street Seats program. The working group is also looking toward the future with a pandemic-era reinvention of the beloved annual Viva La Comida festival.
In-kind donations were provided by Baggu, Future Green, Gilbane, Herman Miller, Julien Leyssene & Cristina Webb, MillerBlaker, Noble Construction Group, Sherwin Williams, SIKI IM STUDIO, Spinneybeck, Uniqlo, and We Plant NYC.
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