Advocates for excellence in the urban environment

Streetscapes for Wellness

Wednesday, December 2, 2020
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Zoom Meeting

UPDATE: You can find a video recording of the program at this link, and download resources shared during the conversation.

Streetscapes have long helped define the public life of New York City, a crossroads of culture and commerce where the city comes together. Yet amid today’s global pandemic, our streets, sidewalks, and adjacent public spaces have emerged as critical spaces that promote physical and mental health, social cohesion, and community resilience. A surge of new uses—from outdoor dining and shopping to yoga, dancing, and more—are spurring fresh thinking about how sidewalks and roadways can advance community wellness while enhancing mobility, social infrastructure, and environmental health.

On the occasion of its 2020 Annual Meeting, The Fine Arts Federation of New York, in collaboration with the New York City Public Design Commission, presented a cross-disciplinary conversation exploring how creative new uses of streets and public spaces can shape a more livable and equitable New York City. 


Erick Gregory, Deputy Director, Urban Design Office, New York City Department of City Planning
Joshua Langham, Assistant Director of the Active Design Program, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Deborah Marton, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute, and Lay Member, New York City Public Design Commission
Delma Palma, Community Design Architect, New York City Housing Authority
Karen A. Phillips, Landscape Architect and Community Advocate

Following brief presentations from panelists, a moderated conversation and Q&A was visually captured in a live drawing by Zara Fina Stasi, artist and founder of NYC-based creative studio Good for the Bees.

This program informs the ongoing research and publication initiative Designing New York, currently focused on innovative approaches to streetscape design. Previous research in this series, led by the Public Design Commission in collaboration with the Fine Arts Federation and other cross-sector partners, resulted in the 2018 publication Designing New York: Quality Affordable Housing, which explored ways that affordable housing design can enhance the public realm and positively impact New Yorkers’ health, safety, and well-being.

Top Image: A live drawing created during the program by Zara Fina Stasi.