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.
NWBCCC identified the following priorities:
- Financial relief and SBA loans
- Legal consultation against landlord harassment
- Assistance in navigating government guides, resources, and regulations
- Stronger network of community assets including cultural institutions, open spaces, and business associations
- Neighborhood beautification and marketing campaign
With Kingsbridge’s cultural vibrancy in mind, the NWBCCC working group proposed a “civic space action plan” that provides cultural and community organizations with a roadmap for how to safely return, organize, and participate in civic life. This plan includes collaboration with local artists and youth groups, a kit-of-parts intervention to extend the retail and restaurant footprints, and outdoor activations such as pop-up markets to drive foot traffic to small businesses.
Over the summer, the working group organized a seminar for small businesses on how to apply for relief loans and installed one of their outdoor dining prototypes at Tropical Rotisserie Kitchen on Sedgwick Avenue. They are now also sourcing materials for modular and movable outdoor furniture, barriers, and planters.
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