Streets Alive for Small Business

Activating Open Streets along NYC commercial corridors

​In 2022, Street Lab has launched a special initiative to help make Open Streets on commercial corridors in low/moderate-income neighborhoods across the city come alive, made possible by a grant from the NYC Department of Small Business Services. We’re offering our best pop-up programs to help New Yorkers come together and re-discover businesses nearby. We’re piloting an Equipment Library so groups can borrow our custom-designed pop-up gear to host their own activities. And we’ve launched a Design Lab to prototype new solutions that bring small businesses to the street.


Equipment Library.

Design Lab.


Upcoming Events

Programming to date:

Since April 2022, we’ve provided 40 days of our best programs on commercial Open Streets in six neighborhoods—Sunset Park and Bedford-Stuyvesant (Brooklyn), Harlem (Manhattan), Stapleton (Staten Island), Elmhurst (Queens), and Concourse (Bronx). These pop-ups included chalk murals made by Street Lab Teens and small business snapshots captured by our 2022 Artist-in-Residence, Sanika Phawde. More coming soon!

We’re providing our best pop-up programs to help New Yorkers come together and re-discover businesses nearby. 

Equipment Library

Community organizations and small businesses across NYC can borrow a selection of Street Lab’s custom-designed pop-up gear to support activities happening on Open Streets along commercial corridors. Since launching in July 2022, the pilot has so far enabled 41 days of additional activation on Open Streets in business districts. More soon!

Not sure what you need? Contact us!

Design Lab

Street Lab is developing new programs and physical designs for activating streets in commercial districts and drawing more foot traffic to local small businesses.

In our pipeline now:

One Big Table

One Big Bench

pop-up cooling station

Modular seating system for streets

Meet a Small Business

pop-up cooling station

Kiosk to bring small business to the street. Prototyping now.


A new take on a traditional design—sharing images of local businesses. Prototyping now.

Neighborhood Info Kiosk

pop-up cooling station

Pointing the way to nearby small businesses
In development.

Made possible by a grant from NYC Dept. of Small Business Services

Additional support from

These Open Streets along commercial corridors offer a historic opportunity to create safe, vibrant public spaces where New Yorkers of all ages can gather in the heart of business districts across the city. Street Lab is excited to partner with community groups, local small businesses, and SBS to offer solutions that build community and strengthens the local economy in these high-need neighborhoods.
—Leslie Davol, Executive Director, Street Lab

When I saw what you created on our street, it was exactly what I dreamed of, but never imagined possible. Somehow you created the dream in my head of what the city can be.”
—David Estrada, Sunset Park Fifth Ave BID