You're using an unsupported browser. This site may not look optimal.

Look further, work harder, listen better
Our Statement

Photo by Flickr User Katie Morrow: The iconic red steps in Times Square grew out of TKTS2K, our 1999 design competition in collaboration with the Theatre Development Fund and the NYC 2000 Millenium Committee to take Times Square from spectacle to streetscape. Times Square has often been called the crossroads of the country and the world, and now, more than ever, it is time to join with people from all over in dialogue - meet us on the steps!

We don’t yet know the long-term ramifications of last week’s election, but we saw a nation profoundly divided on how to create a healthy, dynamic, and just society with opportunity for all.

This division makes the issues we tackle each day at Van Alen all the more urgent, and makes us want to work harder than ever. We’ll continue our efforts to make cities more equitable, inclusive, and livable for everyone.

At the heart of our organization is a commitment to use design to catalyze positive change in the cities and landscapes in which we live. We at Van Alen, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, must continue to be forward-looking stewards of the social, cultural, and ecological resources we share. For the past decades, we’ve devoted ourselves to creating new spaces for civic dialogue and developing innovative, implementable solutions to society’s many challenges, which include the effects of climate change, the consequences of gentrification and vacancy, and the impact of our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

Every day in neighborhoods around the country, we see the impact of short-term fixes for long-term problems. The design professions must look further ahead, and work with other disciplines to envision a better and more sustainable future.

We will continue our 122-year history of asking incisive questions; connecting communities, designers, government officials, scholars, policy makers, and many other professionals; guiding collaborations toward implementation; and facilitating conversation in our work all around the country.

Next month, we’ll be launching Crossroads Conversations on the red steps in Times Square along with the Times Square Alliance. America’s ultimate crossroads will serve as a place to connect people and encourage dialogue among all walks of life and political convictions. Join us!