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,
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
“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!”
Locations in Progress 2023-2024
Street Lab partnered with Greater Faith to host a visioning session on E 234th St using our IMAGINE NYC program in Summer 2023. We are currently working with the church to plan more community events in 2024.
Street Lab piloted three days of programming this past fall, including a Halloween event as part of DOT’s citywide “Trick-or-Streets”celebration. We are currently working to engage the school community and plan regular School Streets starting in Spring 2024.
After 11 weeks of programming in 2022, Beverly Road became a permanent plaza in fall 2023. Following the grand opening, Street Lab provided more programming to help establish this new public space and will continue to support the plaza moving forward.
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
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
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
Recent news about New Public Spaces
On Halloween, Street Lab hosted a special Open Streets event on Jackson Avenue in the Bronx as part of the NYC Dept. of Transportation's “Trick-or-Streets” celebration, which created nearly 100 safe streets for communities to gather and celebrate citywide. Located...
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...
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...
BronxNet coverage of Street Lab at PS32 Open Street
Nov 23, 2022