A flexible community space for friends and neighbors.
Urban Room at Van Alen Institute
303 Bond Street, Brooklyn
Drop-in hours: Tuesdays–Thursdays, 10 am–6 pm
The Urban Room at Van Alen Institute is a flexible, accessible, street-level space located at 303 Bond Street in Gowanus, Brooklyn. It’s a place for civic-minded organizations to meet and diverse groups to come together in dialogue, and serves as an information hub for the Gowanus community. For values-aligned nonprofits and community groups, Van Alen offers this space and meeting tech at no cost, while private and corporate space rentals support our mission to create more equitable cities through inclusive design.
To inquire about using our space, fill out this form.
Why an Urban Room?
When Van Alen moved to Gowanus in early 2020, we joined many community-based organizations already working to create a stronger, more connected neighborhood amid a major rezoning. So we opened our doors to our neighbors and listened. We learned that some lacked dignified, functional, inexpensive gathering space, and we made our flexible office and tech available at no cost. Today, we regularly host meetings of Brooklyn Community Board 6, the Gowanus Oversight Task Force, and Gowanus Mutual Aid, as well as a community fridge operated by One Love Community Fridge.
We’ve found inspiration in the UK-based Urban Room movement, which aims to create a network of spaces where people come together to help create a future for their local area. Although Urban Rooms may differ, they share these principles: a focus on the shared built environment; an open door, especially for those traditionally underrepresented in decision making; exploration to prompt curiosity through creative activities; and location in the neighborhood under discussion. With these principles in mind and by being present in our own community, we’re learning how to best support community partners, ensuring their visions and self-identified needs are at the core of our work.
Brooklyn Community Board 6
Full Board Meeting
Second Wednesdays of the month, 6:30 pm
Click here for current calendar
One Love Community Fridge
Open 24/7 outside 303 Bond Street
Restocked and maintained by One Love Community Fridge
South Brooklyn Mutual Aid Donation Site
Tuesdays–Thurdays, 10 am–5 pm
Click here for current donation requests
March 7, 2024
Brooklyn’s Community Board 6 holds their monthly Landmarks & Land Use Committee meeting at Van Alen Institute. Open to the public.
March 13, 2024
Brooklyn’s Community Board 6 holds their monthly Full Board meeting at Van Alen Institute. Open to the public.