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: Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC)

Coordinating Firm: COOKFOX

Supporting Firms: Design Advocates (Space 4 Architecture, Architensions, Brandt : Haferd, Future Expansion Architects, Michael K. Chen Architecture, New Affiliates); MNLAPerkins & WillScalar ArchitectureStudio Libeskind

Proposal ↓

CLOTH identified the following priorities:

  • Financial relief and SBA loans
  • Legal consultation against landlord harassment
  • Assistance in navigating government guides, resources, and regulations
  • Stronger network of community assets including cultural institutions, open spaces, and business associations
  • Neighborhood beautification and marketing campaign

With Kingsbridge’s cultural vibrancy in mind, the NWBCCC working group proposed a “civic space action plan” that provides cultural and community organizations with a roadmap for how to safely return, organize, and participate in civic life. This plan includes collaboration with local artists and youth groups, a kit-of-parts intervention to extend the retail and restaurant footprints, and outdoor activations such as pop-up markets to drive foot traffic to small businesses.

Over the summer, the working group organized a seminar for small businesses on how to apply for relief loans. They are now also sourcing materials for a kit-of-parts that can be used for programming by Word Up Community Bookshop, an important neighborhood civic space.

In-kind donations were provided by Greengage Urbanscape, Ltd.

See the full Kingsbridge working group’s report (PDF)

The use of the information contained in this proposal document, “Neighborhoods Now Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition,” 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.
Caption: Construction of a prototype for a barrier seating system made from plywood. Courtesy; Cameron Blaylock