Community Cleanup Day in Kingsbridge, Bronx as part of the project led by the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition. Image: Carla Swickerath/Van Alen Institute
The Urban Design Forum and the Van Alen Institute have announced a new cycle of Neighborhoods Now, their initiative launched in the spring of 2020 that brings together leading architecture, design, economic development, legal and urban planning firms with local New York City organizations to help drive their communities’ pandemic recovery.
As detailed in a statement from the Van Alen Institute, “Under the rubric Quarters Now: Forward, the initiative will extend through the end of 2022 and shift from rapid tactical responses to larger-scale, long-term recovery strategies. Led by community organizations, seven interdisciplinary teams will animate and program public space, provide technical support to small businesses and enhance cultural activities.
The teams are led by: 82nd Street Partnership, Asian Americans for Equality and Think!Chinatown; Bed-Stuy Gateway BID; Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Society; Heights Community League; FABnyc; and the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition. Projects include the expansion of the Chinatown Nights night market to accommodate a wider range of food and art vendors, as well as work to complete a neighborhood assessment of Kingsbridge in the Bronx to understand current challenges and long-term opportunities for small businesses and individuals. in the community. More information about teams and projects is available here.
14 companies from the initial round of Neighborhoods Now are continuing their work with the initiative, with new companies including Barretto Consulting, Beyer Blinder Belle, BJH Advisors, Dash Marshall, HLW Architects, Gehl Studio, MA’AM, NHDM, Smart Design and The working assembly.
Neighborhoods Now: Forward is supported by a grant from Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund. The teams will meet throughout the year to share their experiences and ideas.
“Collaborating with our brilliant community partners has reassured me that the future of New York City is bright,” said Daniel McPhee, Executive Director of the Urban Design Forum. “We are thrilled that our members continue to help small businesses and cultural organizations recover from the pandemic and thrive.”