Neighborhoods Now: 82nd Street Partnership (Jackson Heights)
About Neighborhoods Now
In collaboration with the Urban Design Forum, Neighborhoods Now connects neighborhoods hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic with leading design firms. In Bed-Stuy, Jackson Heights, Kingsbridge, and Washington Heights, these working groups are collaborating to develop safe and effective reopening strategies.
The outcomes are a set of design recommendations, prototypes, and installations empowering communities to respond to their immediate needs, while contributing to the city-wide strategy on pandemic response. In some neighborhoods, prototypes have already been implemented, and Van Alen and Urban Design Forum are actively fundraising to support additional implementation.
Learn more about Neighborhoods Now.
Working Groups ↓
Community Partner: 82nd Street Parternship
82nd Street Partnership identified the following priorities:
- Swift, safe reopening strategies for local businesses
- Assistance for restaurants to participate in the city’s Open Restaurants program
- Increased shading and more welcoming exterior spaces
The working group aims to address the neighborhood’s immediate needs with proposals for responsive Open Restaurant set-ups and shading along the street. They also look toward long-term planning, including a pandemic-era reinvention of Jackson Heights’ beloved annual Viva La Comida street festival. In response to the need for multilingual education about COVID-19 protocols, they have created a Manual of Physical Distancing, which provides visual guidance for the challenges of living through a pandemic at different scales, from classrooms to larger urban areas. The manual is currently in translation and production.
Over the summer, the working group organized a Plant & Paint party to enliven the streetscape, created flexible street barriers for open air dining, and installed milk crate planters as a colorful entry point to storefronts. They also utilized a vacant storefront as their field office, which has served as a site to distribute information about social distancing protocols, career education, and anti-racism resources.