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: University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP)

Coordinating Firm: Dattner Architects and MBB

Proposal ↓

University Neighborhood Housing Program identified the following priorities:

  • Safely update and reopen UNHP’s main office for core employees, the community rooms at a senior housing facility for tenants, and a vacant community facility for face-to-face financial counseling
  • Connect Commercial Tenants and Community Facility Tenants to design resources to aid the safe reopening and operations within recommended health guidelines


Dattner Architects + MBB worked closely with the University Neighborhood Housing Program to reconfigure their main office and accommodate a six-foot distance between employees. They plan to reduce the amount of workstations in each room, to implement a COVID check-in station to control the flow of people in the space, and to install plexiglass partitions and air purifiers. For the Rose Hill Community Center, Dattner Architects + MBB are working to build a cost-friendly outdoor module planter system suitable for social distancing and also serves as shaded cover.

See the full University Neighborhood Housing Program working group’s report (PDF)

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