Neighborhoods Now: Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

This work is part of Neighborhoods Now, an umbrella initiative; learn more about it here.


    This team worked on interior reconfigurations for Restoration and are exploring ways to aid broader neighborhood recovery efforts.

    About Neighborhoods Now

    A collaboration between the Urban Design Forum and Van Alen Institute, Neighborhoods Now connects New York City neighborhoods hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic with design firms in our collective network. Launched in May 2020, Neighborhoods Now initially convened eight working groups led by community organizations in Bed-Stuy, Jackson Heights, Kingsbridge, the Lower East Side, and Washington Heights. What was intended to be a six-week sprint turned into long-term partnerships, and nearly all of these working groups continue to collaborate beyond their initial scope.

    In February 2021, we expanded the initiative with new working groups based in Chinatown, the East Village and Lower East Side, and the South Bronx. With new coalitions of designers, engineers, and landscape architects, each working group aims to convert underutilized outdoor spaces as sites for community programming and cultural revitalization. The Forum and Van Alen have granted each new community partner $10,000 to implement these strategies, and will provide additional fundraising support as funds become available.

    Who We’re Working With

    Coordinating Firm

    Supporting Firms

    In-kind donations were provided by

    Goals and Outcomes

    Posters and Wayfinding
    Working with Partner & Partners, the team provided signage indicating social distancing protocols and circulation recommendations with clear and consistent graphics and language for distribution throughout the Restoration buildings. Pamphlets designed by the team were printed and distributed to staff and the community.

    Small Business Workshop
    The team hosted a virtual small business workshop open to the community to disseminate best practices and opportunities for indoor and outdoor dining and retail, along with NYC’s Open Streets portal. They also introduced their Be A Good Neighbor program that proposes swapping sidewalk rights.

    Office Safety
    The team provided layout recommendations for Restoration’s Tax Preparation Center to accommodate clients who required in-person services and recommendations on air purifiers and DIY ventilation strategies.

    Open Space
    The team sourced pro bono materials to install planters in Restoration Plaza and proposed an Adopt-a-Wall program for residents to create art for the plaza.

    Project Resources

    6 resource(s) for this project.

    Proposal Presentation

    The use of the information contained in this proposal document, “Community Guidelines and Reopening Strategies,” 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.