TOPIC

Community Engagement

East Harlem Gets Ready

For high school students in the Climate Resilience Leadership Lab, emergency preparedness means mobilizing the neighborhood.

Co-Op City

Rather than extractive economic development, the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative cultivates a vision of home-grown wealth that stays in the borough.

The People's Power

In Sunset Park, a community-owned solar garden promises a new kind of security for long-time residents, and a new life for the industrial waterfront.

The Private Lives of Public Schools

When it comes to building schools, a little-known entity with radical roots has had an outsize effect on the city’s skyline. How can the Educational Construction Fund adapt an experimental ethos to changing times?

The Location of Justice: Futures

Reentry: Start Here

People returning to city life after time in prison will soon be able to find help at some branch libraries. How can designers help librarians create life-saving connections?

Shelf Life

Seeding the Next Epoch

Seed libraries can restart agriculture after disasters. But what of useless plants? Two artists save the spontaneous, weedy species that serve no purpose but their own.

Studio Reports

Design and Advocacy in the South Bronx

Nandini Bagchee shares her students' work to forge an equal exchange with activists fighting for community space in the South Bronx, in a studio where designers became advocates and advocates became designers.

Chinatown Shop Talk

As Manhattan's Chinatown experiences rapid change, a historic porcelain store on Mott Street reinvents itself as a space for intergenerational dialogue and community activation. UO talks to Mei Lum and Diane Wong, the minds behind the W.O.W. Project, about what they've learned and where they're headed next.

In the Same Room Without Screaming

Can public art, oral history, and open dialogue help rebuild burned bridges between estranged community groups? Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani recounts her experience in the Lower East Side's Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA).

Bronx Farm Helps Refugees Put Down Roots

Two refugees, a longtime community member, and the International Rescue Committee's New Roots program manager tell us how a Bronx garden melds resettlement efforts, job training, and good ole' fashioned community building, served up with a side of bitter melon.

Embedding Histories in a Changing Prospect Heights

Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani shares stories of significant personal places from six Prospect Heights residents in the early 2000s and introduces a project to make visible those stories in the very different landscape of the contemporary neighborhood.

Schooled by the Community: Connecting Flushing Meadows Corona Park Part 3

Schooled by the Community: Connecting Flushing Meadows Corona Park Part 2

Schooled by the Community: Connecting Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Earlier this year, a group of community advisors in Queens attended a community design school to formulate proposals to reconnect Flushing Meadows Corona Park to the surrounding communities. We hear from Design Trust Fellows Sam Holleran and José Serrano-McClain and Community Advisors Esther Sánchez and Jason Chin-Fatt on how it all went down.

The Right to Budget

The week before New Yorkers hit the polls in the city's participatory budgeting process, journalist John Surico tracks its evolution from non-profit project to institutionalization within the Council Speaker’s office, learns of its achievements and frustrations, and contemplates the future of this exercise in direct democracy.

Melding Public and Private: The Partnerships Behind Your Neighborhood Plaza

Laura Hansen explains how the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership supports the local non-profits that operate the city’s newest plazas and asks how much we should, and can, rely on private support for maintaining our public realm.

Visible, Legible, Navigable: Graphic Design Meets Disaster Relief

Typecast: Towers in the Park

Cooperative City, Cooperative Community

Caitlin Blanchfield uncovers the nuances of Co-op City that make this unique development relevant to our broader understanding of social infrastructure, intergenerational continuity, community pride, and affordability.

The Queer Urbanism of Theaster Gates

What Is Zoning?

Christine Gaspar of the Center for Urban Pedagogy walks us through the core concepts of New York City’s zoning code and describes the strategies the organization employs to break down its complexity.