We gather designers, planners, developers and civic leaders to debate the defining issues facing our cities.

Current Initiatives ↓
Streets Ahead

Streets Ahead

How can we transform streets to build connected communities? As the city reopens, there is significant opportunity for designers, planners, policymakers, and community members to develop an inspiring strategy to permanently reclaim streets for all New Yorkers. Streets Ahead will convene working groups over a year to advance ideas and proposals to envision a more vibrant, equitable streetscape. Our workshops, events, and conversations will take place from summer 2021 through spring 2022.
Neighborhoods Now

Neighborhoods Now

In collaboration with the Van Alen Institute, Neighborhoods Now connects New York City neighborhoods hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic with design firms in our collective network. Since May 2020, Neighborhoods Now has assisted more than 100 restaurants, small businesses, and cultural organizations in some of NYC’s hardest-hit neighborhoods across four boroughs.
Shape Shift

Shape Shift

New York City can transform its approach to urban design to achieve housing equity, economic justice, and environmental health. Since 2019, we gathered experts to study historical planning policies, convened national and international leaders advancing radical planning reforms, and mobilized our Fellows to reimagine the city’s planning process. The culminating agenda, 21 Visions for 2021, serves as a resource and call to action for New York City’s next leadership.
Featured News ↓
Forum News
The Urban Design Forum and Van Alen Institute today launched neighborhoodsnow.nyc, a digital toolkit featuring more than 35 designs, guidelines, and strategies to aid safe reopening and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Each tool was created by neighborhood-specific working groups as part of Neighborhoods Now, a rapid-response initiative launched by the Forum and Van Alen in June. More