New Public Spaces

Street Lab is working with the NYC Department of Transportation and communities across New York City to create new public spaces in historically underserved areas of the city. To do this, we’re helping grassroots groups, schools, and other community-based organizations pilot and establish new Open Streets in their neighborhood, which provides immediate benefits to the community while also laying the groundwork for permanent changes.

This work started in 2022 with ten locations and added 12 more in 2023, one of which has now become a permanent plaza. Street Lab is providing programming and activation to these sites,
as well as support with permits, logistics, staffing, partnerships, community engagement,
and evaluation.

Heading into 2024, we’re already working with eight new groups to launch Open Streets as a
first step towards creating more permanent public spaces in their neighborhoods, and making
a special effort with schools. Our goal is to double the number of locations we can support
each year. 

Our Process

a moving image showing the progress from "partnership launched" to "site visits & meetings" to "planning & permits" to "outreach & engagement" to "activation" to "evaluation & next steps"

“The open streets have created a space for us to thrive as a community here at PS32, while we celebrate health, wellness, and one another! ….You can see, hear and feel the joy that has been created! And the best part is—we created it and can keep on creating it!”

Anna Goldman

Movement and Mindfulness Teacher, PS 32

Locations in Progress 2023-2024

Eight Streets, Brownsville, Brooklyn

Brownsville Neighborhood Health Action Center, NYC Dept. of Mental Health and Hygiene

Street Lab is working to launch a total of eight Open Streets in Brownsville, including four in front of schools that will be connected as part of a safe Bike Bus Route, with pilots starting in spring 2024.

Goble Place, Mount Eden, Bronx

MS 327

A school building that says

Located just below the Cross Bronx Expressway, CMSP 327 is in the early stages of planning an Open Street to create much-needed open space near the school. Street Lab will help them this winter with planning, capacity-building, and community engagement, with the Open Street debuting spring 2024.

A special effort to create Open Streets next to schools

A boy jumping a hurdle on a street in NYC.

In 2024, we’re making a special effort to create more car-free streets next to schools as part of our New Public Space Initiative. These kinds of new public spaces are urgently needed for safer drop-off and pick-up, but they can also offer dynamic new space for recess, after-school activities, and learning outside school walls. We see a unique opportunity with these spaces to bring out the best in New Yorkers and make learning a source of pride for the whole neighborhood. 

All Locations since 2021

Map of NYC with green dots and black dots. The key indicates green dots are "In Progress" and black dots are "Previous."

Recent news about New Public Spaces

Pop-up helps make a new public space in Brooklyn

Pop-up helps make a new public space in Brooklyn

Since 2022, Street Lab has been activating the Beverley Road Open Street in Kensington, Brooklyn, to help the community explore the potential of pedestrian public space in a traffic-congested commercial area. Today, the road became a permanent pedestrian plaza, with a...

Creating Open Streets next to NYC Public Schools

Creating Open Streets next to NYC Public Schools

Since Fall 2021, Street Lab has worked with seven public schools in the Bronx and Queens to pilot and launch Open Streets adjacent to the schools as part of our New Public Space initiative with the NYC Department of Transportation. Temporarily opening streets to...

Videos

Street Lab’s Leslie Davol introduces Street Lab and NYC DOT partnership

Aug 8, 2023

BronxNet coverage of Street Lab at PS32 Open Street

Nov 23, 2022

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