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Streets for Commerce

May 18th, 2022
6:00pm - 8:00pm
HLW Architects – Floor 5
5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY, USA

​​Sulin Carling is a Principal at HR&A Advisors, an economic development consulting firm. She specializes in supporting vibrant main streets, planning for urban industrial areas, and fostering innovation in cities. Sulin was previously Senior Economic Development Planner at NYC DCP. She holds a Master in Urban Planning from Harvard GSD.

Ed Janoff is Deputy Director of Union Square Partnership and an expert in park and streetscape planning. Prior to Union Square, Ed held positions at NYC Parks, NYC DOT, and Bryant Park Corporation/34th Street Partnership. He has orchestrated dozens of projects developing pedestrian and public space improvements citywide.

Michael Blaise Backer is the Deputy Commissioner of the Neighborhood Development Division at the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). In this role, Blaise is responsible for oversight of the City's 76 Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), and the City's primary commercial revitalization program known as Avenue NYC. Before joining SBS, Blaise was the Executive Director of Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership for 10 years.

Claire Weisz FAIA, is a founding Principal of WXY architecture + urban design, WXY is globally recognized for its place-based approach to architecture, urban design, and planning, and has played a vital role in design thinking around resiliency. In 2019 Fast Company named WXY one of the World’s Most Innovative Architecture Firms. Claire was awarded the Medal of Honor from AIANY in 2018 and was honored with a Women in Architecture Award by Architectural Record in 2019.

Join us for a roundtable discussion on shaping future streets for commerce with Sulin Carling, Ed Janoff, Claire Weisz, Michael Blaise Backer, and Streets Ahead Commerce Working Group members.

Commercial corridors are the economic engines of our neighborhoods and vital to the vibrancy of our street life. When businesses shuttered at the height of the pandemic, New York’s restaurant and retail jobs took a dramatic hit, disproportionately impacting immigrant- and minority-owned businesses. As our commercial corridors regain their footing, they face mounting spatial challenges: the rise of e-commerce, shifting commuting patterns, and new, and often competing, street uses.

To launch Urban Design Forum’s forthcoming platform of ideas, Streets Ahead: Five Routes to a Thriving City, we will hear bold new proposals from Commerce Working Group members Sulin Carling of HR&A Advisors and Ed Janoff of Union Square Partnership. Claire Weisz of WXY and Michael Blaise Backer of the NYC Department of Small Businesses Services will join us as respondents.

Gather with Forum Fellows to discuss: How can streets evolve to better support commercial corridors and neighborhood businesses?

Guest & Safety Policies 

To secure a safe environment, we will ask for guests to provide proof of vaccination and to wear masks while not eating or drinking.

Continuing Education 

Urban Design Forum is now an AIA CES provider. If there are other continuing education credits you are interested in receiving from the Urban Design Forum, please contact Miranda Bellizia, Director of Member Engagement, miranda@urbandesignforum.org. This program has been submitted for AIA CES approval.

About Streets Ahead

Streets Ahead is a year-long effort advancing ideas and proposals to envision a more vibrant, equitable streetscape. Streets for Commerce is the second of five roundtable events marking the launch of Urban Design Forum’s new platform of ideas, Streets Ahead: Five Routes to a Thriving City.

To learn more about getting involved at the Forum, please contact Miranda Bellizia, Director of Member Engagement, miranda@urbandesignforum.org.

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