Active
Photo: Jourdan Sayers, Design Trust Equitable Public Space Fellow

Many New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments are set back from the sidewalks and surrounded by fenced grassy areas – the ubiquitous 'tower in the park' model. These green spaces are inaccessible to both residents and the surrounding community. A prototype for a lively, usable, active public space on such grassy area at the Lillian Wald Houses in the Lower East Side will offer an engaging place for residents and strengthen connections with the broader community.

The Design Trust for Public Space, in partnership with NYCHA will work with residents to reimagine the green space at Wald Houses. We will focus on connectivity between the development and streetscape to encourage social interaction and promote public health. The Design Trust plans to construct a prototype of the design, coordinating with NYCHA, in a second phase of work.

background

In 2014, we conducted an open Request for Proposals called The Energetic City: Connectivity in the Public Realm to give life to the city by connecting people through innovative design informed by the needs and aspirations of community users. An independent jury selected a proposal by public artist Jane Greengold to partner with the Design Trust in creating a public space prototype in an underutilized grassy area of a NYCHA development. Since then, Design Trust and Jane Greengold have defined the scope of the project. We conducted a site selection process and engaged with residents of Wald Houses, community organizations, and NYCHA staff.

process

In September 2016, we announced a team of Fellows with expertise in community organizing, landscape architecture, active design, lighting, and art, led by Jane Greengold. Together we will assess public needs and desires of the Wald Houses residents and the local community through workshops and meetings, and identify a green space on Wald’s grounds for the prototype. Working with residents, the local community, and NYCHA, the team will develop a design for the selected site that meets the stakeholders’ shared goals.

The Design Trust Fellows will meaningfully engage with residents and neighborhood stakeholders to design a space unique to the specific conditions of Wald Houses, but with the potential for adaptation at other NYCHA sites. 

Key Milestones

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Conduct Request for Proposals

July 2014

An independent jury selected a proposal by public artist Jane Greengold to partner with the Design Trust in creating a public space prototype in an underutilized grassy area of a NYCHA development.

Photo: William Michael Fredericks

Finalize scope

June 2016

We conducted a site selection process and engaged with residents of Wald Houses, community organizations, and NYCHA staff.

Photo: Jourdan Sayers/Joseph Huennekens

Assemble team

September 2016

We announced a team of Fellows with expertise in community organizing, landscape architecture, active design, lighting, and art, led by Jane Greengold.

Photo: Jourdan Sayers/Joseph Huennekens
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