Maintaining

Countless acts of routine maintenance shape New York City every day, yet often go unnoticed until something goes wrong. This year, the Urban Design Forum invites you to consider new ways to sustain our public realm. How can we use design thinking, creative financing, new technology, and community organizing to maintain our physical and social infrastructure?
Fellows ↓
Events ↓
On October 18, join Elena Conte, Susannah Drake, Wendy Feuer, Margaret Newman and Jennifer Pehr to hear original proposals for re-thinking New York City’s arterial roadways.
Join us on September 26 for our Fall Fellows Dinner with Daniel Biederman, Rasmia Kirmani-Frye and Mitchell Silver on how New York City should sustain its public realm.

Points of Departure

Event ▻ Maintaining
On September 6 we were joined by Tim Braine, Jonathan Cohn, John Falcocchio, Susan Fine and Eve Michel as they proposed new solutions to care for New York City's 472 subway stations.
On August 10 we were joined by Sharon Davis, Michelle de la Uz, Brad Lander, Gita Nandan, and Andrea Parker as they proposed leveraging development in Gowanus to expand the neighborhood's green infrastructure network and preserve the area's cultural assets.
On June 14 we were joined by Danny Fuchs, Jennifer Godzeno, Ronnie Lowenstein, Preston Niblack and Henry Grabar for an investigation into how the city budget impacts the built form of New York City.
On May 1 we were joined by Eloise Hirsh, Sam Schwartz, Margaret Tobin, and Deborah Marton offered a retrospective on caring for New York City’s public assets from the fiscal crisis to today.
On February 16 the Forum hosted a tour of the Public Design Commission Archives! Some of the highlights included a maintaining budget from Robert Moses, and some rather peculiar street signs!
Proposals ↓

Station Alliance

Proposal ▻ Maintaining
New York has a history of successful public-private partnerships for public goods: Central Park Conservancy, the High Line, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Business Improvement Districts to name a few. The Station Alliance believes that with support of and partnership with the private sector, we can give New York’s subway stations the innovation and investment that will make them safe, welcoming and inspiring.
The NYC subway system is a vital part of New Yorkers’ daily lives, but the public’s experience with it is too often ugly, brutish, and not short enough. While proximity to a great public realm in New York is the single most important factor for value in the city (location location location), the demeaning environment of most of our public transit infrastructure is alienating, and represents a missed opportunity to create an environment that is valued by the public and thereby well maintained.

Maintaining NYCHA

Proposal ▻ Maintaining
NYCHA is a critical NYC public asset and its preservation is essential to NYC remaining a racially and economically diverse City. NYCHA’s Next Generation 10 year strategic plan has made progress over the last two years to help stabilize the Authority and its finances but additional cuts from Washington threaten that tenuous progress. Why not value capture for maintenance and preservation of NYCHA developments in Gowanus and beyond? 

Gowanus Lowlands

Proposal ▻ Maintaining
Gowanus Lowlands is a community-based vision for a network of parks and public spaces centered on the Gowanus Canal and connecting to the surrounding watershed. The Lowlands seeks to ensure the community has a key role in leveraging these changes and investments to shape a watershed that is accessible, active, and clean for all.

Gowanus Field Station

Proposal ▻ Maintaining
The Gowanus Field Station embodies hands-on learning: it is an outdoor classroom designed to also be a storm-water “eco-machine” that will host a green roof, sit next to a bioswale, capture rainwater for reuse, and use a vegetated rain garden to clean sink water before discharging to the canal.

Stitching Gowanus

Proposal ▻ Maintaining
The current pedestrian experience of the Gowanus is streets ending abruptly into viewless dead ends and dark corners with no sense of the canal beyond. Our solution very practically addresses connectivity and circulation over the Gowanus by literally stitching the banks of the canal together through pedestrian bridges.
Partners ↓