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

Neighborhoods Now:
82nd Street Partnership (Jackson Heights)

Milk crate planters serve as a colorful entry point to storefronts, Jackson Heights, Queens. Photo: Sam Lahoz
Paint and Plant event in Jackson Heights, Queens, July 25, 2020. Photo: Sam Lahoz
Interim outdoor dining setup, Jackson Heights, Queens. Photo: Sam Lahoz
Hanging planters perched on an outdoor eating area, Jackson Heights, Queens. (Design pending DOT approval.) Photo: Sam Lahoz
Outdoor eating area. (Design pending DOT approval.) Photo: Sam Lahoz
Open streets flexible furniture with deployable shading. Courtesy: SO-IL and LTL
Design for publicly shared streets and flexible furniture during the return of local food festival Viva La Comida. Courtesy: SO-IL and LTL
Design for adapting a vacant storefront into a field office that distributes information about social distancing protocols, career education, and anti-racism resources. Courtesy: SO-IL SO-IL and LTL
Paint and Plant event in Jackson Heights, Queens, July 25, 2020. Photo: Sam Lahoz
Paint and Plant event in Jackson Heights, Queens, July 25, 2020. Photo: Sam Lahoz

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.

Working Group

ARO; Design Advocates (Frederick Tang Architecture, Kalos Eidos, Office of Tangible Space, Some People Studio, Studio Fōr, Worrell/Yeung); MOS; nARCHITECTS; VHB

Open Restaurants:
The team aimed to address the immediate needs of the neighborhood’s restaurants with proposals for responsive set-ups and shading along the street, ultimately helping over 20 businesses participate in the city’s Open Restaurants program.

Community Building:
The team opened a field office to create an on-the-ground presence and pilot a model for temporary uses of vacant storefront space. The field office served as a hub to distribute information, goods, and services to businesses and individuals during the pandemic.

Open Space:
The team developed original designs to use parking and sidewalk lanes for public seating for three locations at Barco de Papel, Tulcingo, and Centro Mistico. At Libreria Barco de Papel — which serves not only as a bookstore, but as a community hub for cultural and political activity — the team supported additional strategies to shift programming and browsing to outside.

Neighborhood Beautification:
The team hosted multiple days dedicated to sprucing up the streetscape through new plants and fresh coats of colorful paint for benches in the area.

Viva La Comida:
Viva la Comida! is an annual festival highlighting the cultural diversity of Queens, combining food with music, art, dancing, entertainment and more on a street known for its outpouring of vibrancy. Even though the future is uncertain, the team worked to create parking and restaurant seating plans to accommodate the large gathering.

In-kind donations were provided by Baggu, Future Green, Gilbane, Herman Miller, Julien Leyssene & Cristina Webb, MillerBlaker, Noble Construction Group, Sherwin Williams, SIKI IM STUDIO, Spinneybeck, Uniqlo, and We Plant NYC.

The use of the information contained in this proposal document, “Neighborhoods Now Jackson Heights,” 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.