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: Cooper Square Committee (CSC)

Coordinating Firm: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

Proposal ↓

Cooper Square Committee identified the following priorities:

  • Select dedicated space for consultation to receive visitors and provide physical barriers of staff to visitor space
  • Improve consultation room based on recommended COVID-19 guidelines
  • Guidance on the use of natural ventilation vs mechanical heating and cooling
  • Long term improved thermal comfort of the office space

Cooper Square Committee occupies a 1,700-square-foot ground floor commercial space and the current layout did not aid for a safe reopening. Curtis + Ginsberg Architects worked with CSC to find cost-friendly ways to increase ventilation and improve their current consultation room to accommodate social distancing. The firms have plans to replace windows to allow for natural cross ventilation, upgrade the current particle ventilation system, and install lightweight and adjustable partitions to divide the space between visitors and staff.

See the full Cooper Square Committee working group’s report (PDF)

The use of the information contained in this proposal document, “Neighborhoods Now Washington Heights,” is at the sole risk of the user, and the Urban Design Forum shall not be responsible for, or liable in any way for, the accuracy, completeness or any other matter with respect to the contents herein. The user hereby assumes all risks of the use of the information, and irrevocably and unconditionally waives, releases and discharges the Urban Design Forum and its direct and indirect members, directors, officers, employees, agents, affiliates, volunteers and representatives, from any and all liability of any kind or nature whatsoever, in connection with the matters contained herein, and the use of the information contained herein.