Advocates for excellence in the urban environment

Shared Spaces: Designing People-Friendly Urban Streets

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
5:00-5:45 p.m.
4 Times Square (ground-level space next door to Nasdaq)

Event is free.

Registration is required. Please RSVP Here.

As part of NYCxDesign, the Fine Arts Federation of New York, in collaboration with the New York City Public Design Commission, is exploring the next frontier in people-friendly urban street design: shared spaces. Pioneered to great acclaim (and occasional outrage) in European cities such as Amsterdam and London, shared spaces reimagine roadways and sidewalks as seamless “public realms” for civic life, doing away with traditional traffic lanes, curbs, barriers, or signals. This counter-intuitive approach to designing public thoroughfares has been shown to improve safety as cars slow down to navigate a unified public zone, while walkers and cyclists enjoy improved amenities and access to the city. Liberating space from vehicles also offers new opportunities to soften, shade, and “green” the right-of-way, promoting calmer, cooler, and ecologically friendlier environments, as well as new spaces for events, farmers markets, and public art installations that activate the streetscape. The result is a more humane and harmonious urban environment.

Championed by urban innovators and viewed by others as a threat to public order as we know it, shared spaces deserve to be explored as a solution to New York’s often woefully congested and hostile streetscapes. Could our city join the vanguard of next-generation street design?

Vishaan Chakrabarti, Principal of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, will offer a provocative presentation on the creation and implementation of shared spaces around the world, followed by conversation with respondents offering public and private-sector perspectives on the potential for shared spaces in New York City. The session will conclude with a brief audience Q&A.

Presenter: Vishaan Chakrabarti, Principal of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism | PAU
Respondents: Emily Weidenhof, Director of Public Space, New York City Department of Transportation; Signe Nielsen, Public Design Commission Landscape Architect and Founding Principal, MNLA
Moderator: Justin Garrett Moore, Executive Director, New York City Public Design Commission