Advocates for excellence in the urban environment

We advocate for world-class streets and public spaces.

The Federation is a strong advocate for streetscapes and public spaces that reflect excellence and innovation. 

In addition to supporting world-class parks, waterfronts, and promenades, The Fine Arts Federation has long fought for excellence in the details that define the urban environment. Over the decades, for example, it has advocated for rules governing vending in city parks—protecting the public experience of signature spaces like the High Line—and supported a range of efforts to promote better designed streetscapes.


The coordinated overhaul of New York City’s street furniture illustrates how design can enrich the everyday urban landscape. Redesigned in 2007 by Grimshaw Architects for Cemusa, in collaboration with the New York City Department of Transportation and Department of Consumer Affairs, the crisply modern bus shelters, newsstands, and automatic public toilets replaced a bus stop shelter design that had not been upgraded since the mid-1970s, along with a proliferation of sidewalk structures that made for a cluttered, outmoded, and undignified cityscape.


The single, citywide design offers a public vernacular that has become synonymous with New York City. With its robust construction, high-quality materials, and visual elegance, it projects a tough sophistication that’s uniquely New York.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Grimshaw