The emergence of e-commerce is changing the way we shop and buy. However, this technology is also transforming the built environment with the proliferation of vacant storefronts and empty streetscapes. As the city confronts these challenges, we should consider new tools for supporting local businesses and culture, planning for commercial activity and activating the public realm.

How can we strengthen commercial corridors without causing displacement? What are creative leasing and financing models to support small businesses? How might we imagine the design of future retail zones and storefronts?

On November 8, Lena Afridi, Andrew Deitchman, David Gilford, Larisa Ortiz and Eldon Scott shared their proposals for strengthening small businesses and designing the retail experience with SBS Commissioner Gregg Bishop.


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About Work Force

Retail After E-Commerce is the second event of our Work Force series. As the City implements the “New York Works” plan and rezones outer borough business and industrial districts, the Forum considers how creative zoning, public realm investments, and new infrastructure might enhance economic outcomes for all.

This program is made possible through the support of our Director's Circle. Shape our year-long inquiry and promote conversation between our Fellows and invited decision-makers. To learn more, please contact Daniel McPhee, Executive Director, 646-928-0553 or


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Pacific Coast Highway/Wikimedia Commons