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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These pamphlets aim to inform and engage with the community-at-large in a clear, concise, and user-friendly manner. They outline guidelines and recommendations at multiple scales including tenants, small businesses, and neighborhoods.
On February 24, 2021 the team hosted a free virtual workshop for local small business owners discussing reopening strategies and lessons learned from Neighborhoods Now. The event included information on making interior spaces more COVID-safe, constructing outdoor dining and retail structures, getting permits for the NYC Open Restaurants and Open Storefront programs and potential sources of funding for these efforts.