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Public Life & Urban Justice in NYC’s Plazas Gehl Studio NY 154 Grand Street New York, NY 10013 J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City Spitzer School of Architecture The City College of New York 141 Convent Avenue, Room 02 New York, NY 10031

November, 2015


Contributors

Gehl Studio NY 154 Grand Street New York, NY 10013 Jeff Risom Julia D Day Kasey Klimes Jérôme Lapierre Stine Redder Pederson Chris Rice Tyler Jones Kate DeSantis

J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City Spitzer School of Architecture The City College of New York 141 Convent Avenue, Room 02 New York, NY 10031 Toni L. Griffin Esther Yang Anastassia Fisyak Cesar Mesias

Acknowledgments

Gehl Studio is an urban design and research consultancy with expertise in the fields of architecture, urban design, landscape architecture and city planning. Gehl addresses global trends with a people-focused approach, utilizing empirical analysis to understand how the built environment can promote well-being. Gehl’s work is based on the human dimension – the built environment’s effect on social interaction between people. We consider lively and widely used public spaces to be vital keys to quality of life in cities and to overall wellbeing.

J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York, believes that design can have a positive impact on urban reform in our nation’s cities. Founded in 2011, the Bond Center is dedicated to the advancement of design practice, education, research and advocacy in ways that build and sustain resilient and just communities, cities and regions.

This work involved many interviews and conversations with people working directly with NYC’s public plazas. We are grateful to the many people who met with us and shared their insight.

NYC Public Plaza Managers Ricardi Calixte, Queens Economic Development Corporation (Corona Plaza) Shekar Krishnan, Friends of Diversity Plaza (Diversity Plaza) Lauren Danziger, Meatpacking Improvement Association (Meatpacking Plaza) Daniel Murphy, Pitkin Avenue Business Improvement District (Zion Plaza) Phillip Kellogg & Victoria Bonds, Fulton Area Business Alliance (Putnam Plaza) Jennifer Brown, Scott Kimmins, & Julie Sophonpanich, Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership (Flatiron Plaza)

Neighborhood Plaza Partnership (NPP) Laura Hansen Dorothy Le Cheryl Tse

NYC Department of Transportation Emily Weidenhof Transportation Alternatives 111 John Street, Suite 260 New York, NY 10038

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Transportation Alternatives’ mission is to reclaim New York City’s streets from the automobile and to promote bicycling, walking, public transit. With 100,000 active supporters and a committee of activists working locally in every borough, T.A. fights for the installation of infrastructure improvements that reduce speeding and traffic crashes, save lives and improve everyday transportation for all New Yorkers. Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Researchers / Volunteers Stine Ilum, Urban Anthropologist

Thank you to the Surdna Foundation and Transportation Alternatives via the Summit Foundation for their generous support and making this work possible. 3


Contents

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Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Executive Summary

6

01

Introduction NYC Plaza Program Research Context Research Questions

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02

Methods Approach & Metrics

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03

Findings Overview Key Findings

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04

Recommendations

80

Appendix

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Executive Summary

Our collaboration and this study starts with a simple question: can the design of public space have a positive impact on public life and urban justice? This report, ‘Public Life and Urban Justice in NYC Plazas’, is the culmination of an 18 month collaboration between Gehl Studio, the J. Max Bond Center and Transportation Alternatives to develop, investigate, measure and evaluate how New York City’s Public Plaza Program and seven of its recently implemented plazas contribute to quality public life and greater social justice. The NYC Plaza program is a unique initiative that has leveraged community support to create 61 plazas across the city. The economic benefits of the program are widely documented, but little is known about how these places perform for people in terms of the quality of public space and robustness of public life. We developed a unique valuesbased indicator framework with 74 distinct metrics designed to not only understand traditional economic measures of success, but the ways in which the design, design process and ongoing management of these spaces effects issues of equity, access, connectivity, choice, diversity, ownership, participation, inclusion, beauty, health, creative innovation, and public space and life. While there are 74 unique metrics, there are a few key simple ones, such as who uses the plazas, when they spend time there, and what activities they partake in.

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This report describes our study motivations, methods of data collection and analysis, key comparative findings, individual plaza findings, and recommendations for plaza improvements and further development and use of the indicator tool. Overall, regarding plaza performance, we found that the plazas uniformly provide choice, access, transit connectivity, participation, creative innovation, and beauty. When plazas are in primarily residential areas, they are mostly visited by the local community living within a two mile radius -, support meeting or recognizing new people, and generate a high rate of a sense of ownership. To a lesser extent, the analysis revealed that not all plazas have more than moderate levels of diversity, inclusion, and social connectivity. These measures in particular revealed varying degrees of positive public life relative to social interaction, activities, and gender, ethnic and generational diversity. With regard to equity, the hardest value to measure design’s impact on, the study showed the addition of plazas improved equitable distribution of initial capital resources, increased neighborhood access to open space, and that users of the plaza seemed to equitably mirror the population of the local neighborhood. However, there was less than equitable funding for ongoing maintenance, management and programming, which was directly related to the overall wealth of the plaza neighborhood.

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Findings related to the usefulness of the indicator framework tool revealed that in order to assess public life and social and spatial justice, observational surveys and intercept surveys (actually talking to users of the plaza) were essential to collecting an accurate assessment of the plaza’s impact. Collecting this data effectively required manpower and multiple visits to the plazas to assemble a useful sample size from which to draw conclusions.

This report concludes by offering recommendations to the Mayor’s Office, the NYCDOT, DCP, HPD, DOHMH, and plaza management organizations about ways plaza implementation, funding, design, and programming might evolve to achieve even greater improvements to public life and urban justice. An assessment of the current indicator framework and ways it could be improved for broader use by cities and communities is also provided.

Gehl

JMBC

PSPL Methodology is based on two core indicators:

Public Space Public Life

The Just City Methodology, is based on eleven core indicators:

Urban Justice

How can we mesh these indicators together to study connections between public life, public space, and urban (social and spatial) justice?

Equity Access Choice Connectivity Health & Wellbeing Diversity Ownership Participation Beauty Inclusion/ Belonging Creative Innovation

How can we understand who benefits from new public spaces? 7


Introduction


The NYC Plaza Program Over the past seven years, the NYC Department of Transportation has partnered with community organizations to create new public plazas in neighborhoods lacking open space across the city.

Today, there are 61 plazas in all five boroughs. The plazas range in size from 3,000 square feet to 50,000, and in location, from the wealthiest NYC neighborhoods, such as the Meatpacking district in Manhattan, to some of the poorest, such as New Lots in East New York, Brooklyn.

• Started in 2008 with flagship Greenlight for Midtown projects along Broadway. • In 2009, the program expanded citywide and became available to community groups that could demonstrate local support. • Community groups apply to the NYC DOT and must demonstrate local support and ability to maintain and operate the space. • The plaza program receives long-term funding from PlaNYC 2030, NYC’s long-range plan released in 2007. This covers initial implementation and furnishings by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Community organizations are responsible for ongoing maintenance and operational costs. • For more information visit the NYC DOT Plaza Program website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/ pedestrians/nyc-plaza-program. shtml

The plaza program reclaims existing street space, and makes it space for all to use. 10

NYC DOT, Plaza Program, Corona Plaza, BEFORE

NYC DOT, Plaza Program, Corona Plaza, AFTER Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

The plazas are implemented quickly, are highly visible, and often cost less than $100,000 to install. 11


Measuring Urban Change

Precedents for Measuring Urban Change

How do we measure the social impact of 55 new public plazas and the reclamation of 400,000 square feet of road space for public use?

JMBC reviewed existing methods to measure impact and change in cities:

 

www.nyc.gov/dot

2

   

In 2007, Gehl conducted its first ‘Public Space Public Life’ survey in NYC. The findings were integrated into the NYCDOT’s ‘World Class Streets’ report and led to a range of public space interventions, from new cycling infrastructure to pedestrian plazas on formerly vehicular streets.



In less than a decade, the paradigm for New York City’s roads transformed in a way that it had not since vehicles were invented over 100 years ago.

  Â’

  ¹  

World Class Streets: Remaking New York City’s Public Realm

In 2010, the City began studying the impacts of these spaces, primarily with a focus on economic impact on sites in central business districts. Key metrics included economic vitality (sales tax receipts, commercial vacancies), user satisfaction, and the number of users. While rising property values and retail sales demonstrated the economic success of these reclaimed spaces, there was a lack of information on the social impacts. For example, at Pearl Street Plaza in Lower Manhattan, retail sales increased by 172%, but there was a lack of data collected to demonstrate improvements to residents’ or plaza users’ quality of life.

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Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

World Class Streets:

Remaking New York City’s Public Realm

PlaNYC Sustainability Indicators Sustainability This program was launched in 2007 and establishes a set of 29 sustainability indicators, largely seeking to measure environmental systems, such as air quality, waste supply and waterways, energy, and climate change.

Transactions Transformations Translations | Social Movement Launched in 2011 this program establishes a set of 10 participation and social movement building indicators. Each one of those indicators has a ‘transaction’ (quantitative) and a ‘transformation’ (qualitative) subcategory.

Gross National Happiness Index Human Wellbeing This survey-based program was launched in 2010 and is used by the Bhutan government to assess human wellbeing, quality of life and other non-economic aspects of wellbeing within the country.

CEOs for Cities | Vitality Launched in 2006 and revised in 2012. It establishes a set of indicators that seek to measure how urban leaders can focus on making cities more connected, innovative and talented. The goal is to encourage investment in a city’s distinctive assets.

Public Space, Public Life Surveys (Gehl) Created 40 years ago, this program is guided by principles of observation and survey work. It aims to collect peopleoriented data regarding public space design and use.

Source: Design for the Just City, Draft Report on Summary of Findings, JMBC 2013

Public Realm Impact Studies in NYC Have Found...

Streets Index 2012 Sustainable New York City Department of Transportation 1

Traffic (2000-2010) • 2.4% decline in citywide traffic volumes • 5% less motor vehicle registrations • 10% growth in bus and subway ridership (2000-2010) Mode Share (2000-2010) • 13% increase in commuter cycling

Measuring the Street: New Metrics for 21st Century Streets

1

Impact studies to date have demonstrated how public space can support economic growth and make streets safer from crashes, but they have not explored how design impacts urban justice and robust public life.

Safety (2000-2010) • 30% fewer traffic fatalities • 50% less speeding on major arterial roads (2000-2010) Public Support • 66% of New Yorkers support bike lanes • 72% support bike share

• +172% on Pearl Street, Brooklyn (compared to 18% borough wide) • +49% 3 years after installation of the 9th Ave cycle track (16x the borough growth rate of 3%) • +14% at businesses fronting new seating areas Decreased Commercial Vacancy Rates • - 49% after Union Square was extended for pedestrians and cyclists Increased Sales along Protected Bus Lanes • + 73% for small businesses in the Bronx

Source: NYCDOT, 20102013

Increased Retail Sales

Introduction

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Evaluating Impact

From Bloomberg’s PlaNYC

Who benefits from these urban changes?

Quality of life

Growth

Functionality While the impacts of the NYC Plaza Program appear positive, they don’t tell the entire story of how the reclaimed spaces are being used and by whom. They do not help understand how the plazas relate to - if at all - other conditions in the city, such as income disparity and growing inequality.

This study builds on the momentum of both Bloomberg’s transportation and public space programs and de Blasio’s goals to develop projects via a more inclusive, equitable process. This study creates an indicator framework tool to better understand connections between design and social and spatial justice.

To understand if public space design can promote more equitable access to social, cultural, and economic opportunities, a clear, easy to use method to measure and evaluate who feels invited to new public spaces, or who doesn’t, how the spaces are used, and what types of economic or social opportunities they foster is needed.

to De Blasio’s One New York Resilient

At the same time that NYC is creating a new model for how to re-purpose urban streets, it’s becoming one of the most polarized cities in the world in terms of quality of life disparities between rich and poor. Yet the impact of design and its affect on the spatial manifestation of these disparities remains largely understudied. New York has its first new mayor in 12 years. De Blasio’s election victory reflects enthusiasm for a progressive leader bold enough to flag income disparity and affordability as New York’s most pressing issues. 14

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Leader in infrastructure and innovation

#onenyc This study builds on the metrics identified in PlaNYC to measure urban change, and on the more recent goals outlined in One New York, which focuses more directly on an equitable NY.

Dynamic

Equitable

Thriving

Introduction

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Why Study Public Space, Public Life, and Urban Justice How can the plazas serve as case studies for how to measure the impacts of new public space on public life and urban justice? Manhattan Flatiron District Plaza Meatpacking District Plaza

Queens Diversity Plaza

This study looked at seven sites: two in Manhattan, two in Queens, and three in Brooklyn. They range in size from 3,800 to 40,000 square feet and in how they began: Corona Plaza was a 5-year community organizing initiative, while Diversity Plaza was led by a few committed residents. In Brooklyn, Zion Plaza is maintained by a dedicated local BID, and New Lots Plaza by a small business owner. Flatiron and Meatpacking - in Manhattan’s central business district - are well funded. They all are in neighborhoods that lack open space.

Corona Plaza

Brooklyn Putnam Plaza Zion Triangle New Lots Triangle

The study plazas were chosen for their diversity in location, size and local population and as a way to understand how movement, use, activity and the demographics of plaza visitors and passersby varied despite geographic and socio-demographic differences. While the diversity of the plaza sites makes 1:1 comparisons difficult, it allows for an evaluation of how perception and use are similar or different despite socio-economic and geographic differences, as well as variation in plaza history and management structure. 16

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

New Plazas: Areas Underserved by Open Space:

Next Generation World Class Streets, Plazas:

Introduction

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Core Research Agenda How does reclaimed street space - in the form of NYC public plazas - impact urban justice? NYC’s population is growing. So is the gap between rich and poor. At the same time, public space is being reshaped through a people-first lens. Community groups have protested public space out of fear that it will accelerate neighborhood change and exacerbate disparities. How can we investigate the relationship between public space improvements, neighborhood change, and who benefits?

Can the impact of public space on quality of life be measured?

Can an improved public realm perform economically and support the social needs of communities? Who benefits from public space improvements?

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Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Urban Justice Research Agenda Are reclaimed streets providing more equitable distribution of open space? Do new spaces promote greater diversity of users and choices of outdoor activity? Are public places facilitating greater transit and social connectivity? Can improved access to public space promote greater neighborhood health and wellness? Can these spaces deepen a sense of community participation, belonging and ownership by residents, businesses, and stakeholders? Do the new spaces inspire creativity and improve beauty in the neighborhood?

Introduction

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Methods

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Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center


A Combined Research Approach By applying Gehl Studio’s method of design ethnography and the J. Max Bond Center’s ‘Just City’ values, this project seeks to answer whether the impact of design on urban justice can be measured.

Gehl & JMBC Project Indicators & Measurement Frameworks DELIGHT

PUBLIC SPACE • Land Use • Mobility Patterns

• AESTHETICS • CLIMATE • HUMAN SCALE

• Seating Opportunities

• Plaza Design

• Quality Criteria

• Plaza Edge

• Commute Time

• Cost

& Rates

The JMBC Just City values were used as the overarching indicator framework. Within each value, a combination of public life (how people use space and who they are), public space (quality and design of the space) indicators and urban justice indicators (human health, economic, civic, culture, aesthetic, and environmental wellbeing) were included.

Public Life

The combined approach looks in more detail at not only what’s happening in a space, but at who is there and how access, use, movement, and ownership differs depending on design, geography, and local socio-economic demographics.

• Stewardship

Four methods were used to observe functionality, conditions, and behavior: intercept surveys, observational surveys, desktop research, and interviews. We engaged directly with users about their experience, researched the local sociodemographic and land use context, and interviewed plaza stakeholders and managers to understand the history and goals of each plaza.

• Equity

• Beauty

• Choice

• Creative Innovation

• Access

• Health and Wellness

• Pedestrian Volumes

• Ownership

• Age

• Social Connectivity

• Gender

• Who: Income

• Safety

• Who: Race/

• Time Spent Outside

PROTECTION

• VEHICULAR TRAFFIC • CRIME • SENSORY

COMFORT

• WALKING • STAND / STAY • SITTING • LOOKING • HEARING / TALKING • PLAY

Ethnicity *

URBAN JUSTICE

• Connectivity • Diversity • Ownership • Participation • Inclusion / Belonging

* Metrics added for this project 22

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Methods

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JMBC Urban Justice Indicators

Gehl Public Life, Public Space Indicators

JMBC has assembled a collection of metrics, both social and spatial, designed to evaluate the ways the design of the built environment affects six wellbeing indicators – health, economy, civics, culture, ecology and environmental design.

For the purpose of evaluating urban justice and the public realm, JMBC has selected the following values for this indicator framework tool: 1. Equity. Designing for equity in the public realm examines how the plaza increases the overall amount of accessible open space for the neighborhood and if its costs and operating budgets are structured on par with other plazas in the city. 2. Ownership. Designing for ownership measures how the plaza promotes one’s belief that the space belongs to their neighborhood and an individual sense of stewardship for the plaza’s activities and upkeep. 3. Choice. Designing for choice examines whether users and the community have multiple options and flexibility for what they do in the plaza and how they configure the plaza for different activities.

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4. Access. Designing for access measures whether the plaza can be easily and safely entered without physical obstruction or restrictive regulation, how people get there, and if access to amenities changed or increased. 5. Connectivity. Designing for connectivity measures if the plaza is sufficiently connected to varied modes of transportation and amenities. It also measures whether the plaza users feel connected to one another, forming exchanges and/or relationships between one another. 6. Diversity. Designing for diversity measures whether the plaza offers a range of activities and program options that reflect the cultures of its neighborhood and/or users. It also measures whether the plaza attracts a diverse population of users. 7. Participation. Designing for participation examines how people use the plaza Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

For 40 years, Gehl has used the public space, public life survey to study what people do in public (how they move, where they stay) and how the physical environment influences their behavior.

and frequency of use. It examines whether area residents are engaged in the plaza’s design, programming, management and upkeep. 8. Inclusion and Belonging. Designing for inclusion & belonging looks at how the plaza improves one’s sense of being accepted regardless of difference, and a feeling of safety. 9. Beauty. Designing for beauty measures whether the plaza elevates the physical aesthetics of the neighborhood. 10. Creative innovation. Designing for creative innovation examines whether the plaza deploys unique and creative solutions to address the deficit of active open space in the neighborhood.

The following are the metrics Gehl has used to study the relationship between life and form in public space. Public Life

Public Space

Quality of the Design:

Age • Children • Adults • Seniors

Activity • Stationary (sitting, standing) • Active (exercising, playing)

Protection, Comfort and Delight

Gender • Men • Women Movement • Pedestrians • Cyclists

Physical Conditions • Barriers to walking or cycling (i.e. obstacles on sidewalks) • Distribution of space (how wide are the sidewalks? The streets? Are there bus lanes or cycle tracks?)

• •

How is the space protected from traffic, crime or unpleasant sensory experiences? How comfortable is it in terms of being able to hear, talk and see? How much opportunity exists for delight and joy?

11. Health and Wellness. Designing for Health and Wellness measures if the plaza provides active and passive outdoor activities that help improve human health conditions. Methods

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Gehl / JMBC Combined Indicator Framework

OWNERSHIP OWNERSHIP

Intercept Survey

Interviews

Desktop Research

Observational Survey

See Appendix A for full list of metrics.

Individual’s Perception of Urban Justice Value Neighborhood Ownership Formal and Informal Plaza Ownership

EQUITY EQUITY

PARTICIPATION

Individual’s Perception of Urban Justice Value PARTICIPATION

Individual’s Perception of Urban Justice Value

Distribution of Open Space

User Activity

Access and Use of Human and Funding Capital

Participation in Operations

Demographics

Design Facilitating Active Engagement

Design

Rate of Visitors that Stay in Plaza: “Stickiness”

CHOICE CHOICE

Individual’s Perception of Urban Justice Value Design Flexibility and Adaptability

ACCESS

INCLUSION & BELONGING INCLUSION + BELONGING

Program Choice: Informal and Formal Activities

Demographic Inclusion & Belonging

ACCESS

Design Facilitating Inclusion & Belonging

Individual’s Perception of Urban Justice Value

Public Safety

Accessible Design

BEAUTY

User Accessibility: # of People with Convenient Access

CONNECTIVITY

BEAUTY

Individual’s Perception of Urban Justice Value

Pedestrian Accessibility

Design Features

Access and Adjacency to Other Land Uses

Appearance

CONNECTIVITY

CREATIVE INNOVATION

Individual’s Perception of Urban Justice Value

CREATIVE INNOVATION

Individual’s Perception of Urban Justice Value Impact

Transportation Connectivity

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Interpersonal Connectivity HEALTH + WELLNESS

DIVERSITY DIVERSITY

Individual’s Perception of Urban Justice Value

Individual’s Perception of Urban Justice Value

Time Spent Outdoors Plaza Activity Human Health

Demographic Diversity Design Diversity 26

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Methods

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Data Collection Methods 1.Desktop Research

3.Intercept Surveys

Surveys were done on a weekday and weekend day, between 8am-8pm, in October 2014. 28

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

The intercept survey gathered information from users about demographics, perception and use of the plaza, and reactions to the Just City values. 489 surveys were collected at the seven plazas. Surveys were done on a weekday and weekend day, between 8am-8pm, in October 2014.

2.Observational Surveys

Pedestrian count and stationary activity surveys collected detailed information on where people walk, activities they engage in, and age and gender. Data collectors also assessed the quality and condition of outdoor seating, paving materials, nearby facades, and other qualitative factors that affect the public realm.

A number of sources were used to collect data on demographics, residential and worker population, land use and open space, political and community boundaries, police precincts, and community facilities.

4.Interviews with Plaza Managers

Questions covered programming, operational budgets and funding sources, management structure, maintenance costs, staff makeup, civic participation, neighborhood and business conditions, security and safety, and rules and regulations. Interviews were conducted during the plaza study site selection phase, in September 2014, and in the spring of 2015 to share preliminary findings and gather additional information. The Neighborhood Plaza Partnership was an instrumental resource in setting up preliminary meetings with plaza managers. Methods

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Plaza Study Areas & Surveys Collected For the seven plazas studied, data was collected at the Census tract level and included tracts with centroids within the half-mile buffer around the plaza. This

Timeline

was considered the typical catchment area by plaza managers we spoke to and is also a 10-minute walk from the plaza. Site Selection & Background Research

Plaza Neighborhood Boundaries Meatpacking

Flatiron

Diversity

• •

• Meatpacking

0.5

1

Miles

• •

Total Surveys collected, all plazas: 489

••

• collected on a weekday Surveys were and weekend day, between 8am-8pm, in October 2014.

Income

Gender

Language

29% of respondents made $0-14,999, 34% made $15,000-$49,999, 20% made $50,000-$59,999 and 16% $100,000 or more.

40% of respondents to the intercept surveys identified as Female and 59% as Male. Less than 1% of respondents identified as Other.

84% of the intercept surveys were collected in English and 16% in Spanish.

Age

Race

Quantity

Survey respondents were predominantly 25-44 years old at 47%, followed by 45-64 years old at 29%. Few surveys were collected from children 0-14 years old and seniors 65+.

Survey respondents were predominantly white at 41%, or Hispanic/Latino at 28%. 13% were Asian, 14% were Black/African American. Less than 5% were Two/More Races.

Meatpacking: 80 Flatiron: 150 Diversity: 75 Corona: 112 Zion: 34 New Lots Triangle: 18 Putnam: 20

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Surveying and Field Work

Winter 2014

Putnam 2

Intercept Surveys Collected

Methodology Development

Fall 2014

Neighborhood Outlines Data was collected at the Census Tract level for Census Tracts with centroids within the half-mile buffer around the plaza also a 10-minute walk around the plaza.

0

Summer 2014

Corona

Putnam

Zion

Diversity

New Lots

• •

Zion

• Flatiron

New Lots

Corona

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Data Analysis Spring 2015 Follow-up Interviews

Summer 2015 Key Findings and Synthesis Presentation of Findings Fall 2015

Methods

Report

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Findings

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Summary of Findings

The following chapter outlines key findings from the analysis. While the findings at each plaza are unique, there were many shared trends across the plazas. This chapter outlines findings related to the plazas overall and key findings for six of the seven plazas. In summary, the research found that plazas are neighborhood destinations that local residents feel passionately about. At the Queens and Brooklyn plazas, the majority of visitors were from within a 2mile radius, and a majority reported living in the neighborhood for 15-20 years. The Manhattan plazas studied have a wider catchment area, with Flatiron serving people from around the City and Meatpacking serving many tourists. This was particularly interesting in light of one of the questions driving this research: who benefits from these new public spaces, existing residents or newcomers? Whether local or not, the majority of respondents told us the plazas are ‘theirs’. Men and women alike said they improve the appearance of the area and make it safer. While many of the plazas are located adjacent to subway or bus stations, and are places that people walk through during their commutes, they also appear to be places where people enjoy spending time. And, the stickiness of a place does not depend on the quality of the space, as demonstrated by Flatiron and Corona. These two plazas have the 34

greatest exposure to vehicle or subway noise and air pollution, but also the highest rates of activity, as compared to Zion and Meatpacking, which have the highest design quality, but lower rates of use. It appears that the value of these new open spaces is so great that even non-perfect environmental conditions make them important community assets. While the plazas do not necessarily facilitate racial/ethnic diversity and are fairly homogeneous, they do serve as a platform to meet or recognize new people and connect with others, especially at the plazas in residential areas. 80% of respondents at Corona reported meeting or recognizing new people, while less than 20% did at Meatpacking. There are some major similarities between the plazas - walking activity at Corona in Queens rivals that at Manhattan’s Flatiron. Yet while the number of people using these two plazas is similar, their maintenance budgets are not, and Corona Plaza has a fraction of Flatiron’s annual budget. This results in challenges to maintain the cleanliness of the space and setup furniture consistently. One might ask, if these challenges were addressed would the plazas in residential areas be able to invite for even more people and public life?

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

A dance aerobics class held in Corona plaza. Findings

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Summary of Findings

1. Equitable Beginnings but Financial Challenges Thereafter

2. People Choose to Visit, and Have Choices of Activity

3. Inviting, Open and Accessible Retreats in the City

7. Good Plaza Use Seven Days A Week

8. Who Is In The Plaza and Who Is Not

9. Plazas are Considered Attractive Places in the City

Indicator Equity Public Life Public Space

Indicator Choice Public Life Public Space

Indicator Access Public Life Public Space

Indicator Participation Public Life

Indicator Inclusion & Belonging Public Life

Indicator Beauty Public Space

The plazas are equitable in that they increase open space, serve the local community and start off with the same implementation funds and design palette. But challenges arise from operations funding coming from the local community.

Choice measured by the public life of the plaza found that plazas are ‘stickier’ – more people stay relative to the number that walk by – on the weekends, indicating that people choose to visit when they have free time. Thousands of people walk through them daily too.

Access measured by accessible design and to new land uses or neighborhood services was high for all plazas. Plaza edges are free from barriers, provide high visibility for pedestrians and create direct connections to adjacent land uses, such as retail or transport.

Plazas create a place for locals to participate in their community, on a regular basis.

Inclusion and Belonging measured by demographic inclusion in the plaza relative to neighborhood demographics found plazas to support income diversity.

Beauty measured by the aesthetics of design features found very high levels of satisfaction - across demographics - with the overall appearance of the area.

4. Plazas are Physical, but not Always Social Connectors

5. Different People & Places but Plazas not That Racially Diverse

6. Plazas have Shared Worth and Value

10. A Temporary Intervention with Long Term Impacts

11. Spaces for Healthy Living

Indicator Connectivity Public Life Public Space

Indicator Diversity Public Life

Indicator Ownership Public Life Public Space

Indicator Creative Innovation Public Space

Indicator Health & Wellness Public Life Public Space

The plazas support high transportation connectivity, but uneven social connectivity, which is higher in the outer borough plazas than in the Manhattan plazas.

NYC’s residential patterns are segregated by race/ ethnicity and the plazas reflect this. While racial/ ethnic homogeneity at the plazas where visitors are local matches citywide patterns, it is less clear why there is a match at the Manhattan plazas, which attract people from the entire City or from outside of NY.

People want to take care of their plazas. While intercept surveys don’t necessarily reflect what people would do, they indicate that people feel a sense of stewardship and ownership for the plazas, across the board.

The plaza program is an innovative new public space appropriation program led by city government, that engages local partners in developing open space in their neighborhoods.

Plazas increase the amount of time people spend outside, but to understand more direct impacts on health a longitudinal study is necessary.

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Findings

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Plazas Surveyed Manhattan

Queens 50 ft 50 ft

50 ft

50 ft

50 ft

50

Meatpacking Plaza

50 ft

ft

Flatiron Plaza

Diversity Plaza

Corona Plaza

Location

Location

Location

Location

Meatpacking / West Village Intersection of Gansevoort Street, Little West 12th Street, Greenwich Street and 9th Avenue

Flatiron District located between E 22nd Street and W 25th Street along Broadway and 5th Avenue

Jackson Heights, 37th Road between 73rd and 74th Streets

Corona, Roosevelt Avenue Service Road between National & 104th Streets

Size

Size

50 ft

Size

District Population

18,488 sq. ft. (DOT)

146,491

Design Features (not standard DOT) • • • • •

Large white planters sponsored by Theory Bollards Folding chairs: white Tables Cobblestone street

Local Partner & Maintenance Meatpacking Improvement Association (MPIA), Meatpacking District Initiative (MPDI)

38

Size

District Population

45,000 sq. ft. (DOT) 143,051 Design Features • • • • •

Plaza spans three blocks with four segments Standard DOT planters Non-standard silver metal tables, chairs, and trash cans Citibike station Four kiosks: three food and one information

Local Partner & Maintenance Madison Square Park Conservancy, Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership BID Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

District Population

6,000 sq. ft. (DOT)

185,667

District Population

13,500 sq. ft. (DOT)

Design Features

Design Features

• •

Standard tables, chairs, umbrellas, planters, and rock bollards Subway station Surrounded by small, independent stores

Local Partner

137,879

Standard tables, chairs, umbrellas, planters, and rock seats Subway station lets out into plaza

Local Partner

Social Uplift and Hope Initiatives (SUKHI), CB3

Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC), CB4

Maintenance

Maintenance

SUKHI and Neighborhood Plaza Partnership (NPP)

Queens EDC and NPP

Findings

39


50 ft

50 ft

50 ft

Plazas Surveyed Brooklyn

50 ft

50 ft

50 ft

New Lots Triangle

Zion Triangle

Putnam Plaza

Location

Location

Location

East New York, at the intersection between Livonia Ave and New Lots Ave

Brownsville, between E New York Ave and Pitkin Ave

Clinton Hill / Bedford Stuyvesant, between Cambridge Pl, Grand Ave and Fulton St.

Size

District Population

3,800 sq. ft. (DOT)

146,530

Design Features • • •

Standard umbrellas, planters, and rock seats Subway station lets out into plaza Surrounded by small, independent stores

Local Partner New Lots Avenue Triangle Merchants Association, Inc., CB5

Size

District Population

6,500 sq. ft. (DOT)

126,002

Design Features • • •

Standard umbrellas, planters, and rock seats Bordered by NYCDPR Zion Triangle Park on the west side Brownsville Charter School adjacent to the plaza

Local Partner Pitkin Avenue BID, NYC DPR, CB16

Maintenance

Maintenance

New Lots Avenue Triangle Merchants Association, Inc.

NYC DPR, Pitkin Avenue BID

40

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Size

District Population

14,000 sq. ft. (DOT)

118,910

Design Features • • •

Standard umbrellas, planters, and rock seats String lights Plaza features a “green street”

Local Partner Fulton Area Business Alliance (FAB), CB2 Maintenance FAB

Findings

41


Corona Surronding Land Use

Neighborhood character around the plazas 8%

1% 3%

15%

Plaza neighborhoods vary from majority residential around New Lots Triangle to majority commercial and mixed use at Flatiron Plaza. 73%

Putnam Surronding Land Use

New Lots Surronding LandLand Use Use Corona Surronding

New Lots Surronding Land Use

11%

Diversity

New Lots Surronding Land Use

13% 2%

Corona Surronding Land Use

6%

8%

13% 4%

1% 3%

15%

Putnam

73%

75% 73%

75%

1% 3%

Key:

15%

18%

Diversity Surronding Land Use Putnam Surronding Land Use

Diversity Surronding Land Use

Flatiron Surronding Land Use

4% 2%

71% All Residential

Corona

19%

57% All Residential

57%

2% 11% 4% 1% 18%

1%

13%

35%

New Lots Surronding Land UseLand Use Flatiron Surronding

11%

2% 13% 35%

6%

Plaza

Flatiron Surronding Land Use

4% 2% 25% 35%

25%

18%

Corona Surronding Land Use

4% 2%

New Lots Surronding Land Use

1% 3%

8%

25%

18%

New Lots

Parking / Vacant land

25%

25% Meatpacking Surronding Land Use

Open space

Outer borough plazas are surrounded by residential land use. But all plazas are adjacent to retail, except for Zion, which is adjacent to a school and park.

13%

Meatpacking Surronding Land Use Flatiron Surronding Land Use

Meatpacking Surronding Land Use

71%

2%

51% 28%

28%

13%

15%

73% All Zion Surronding Land Use Residential

4%

2,5%

75%

6,5%

4%

Zion Surronding Land Use

2,5%

73%

6,5%

Corona Surronding Land Use

6%

8%

51%

1% 3%

15%

75% All Residential 73%

75%

13%

13% 51%

28%

6,5%

Industrial / Public facilities

0,5%

11%

2,5%

71%

13%

57%

Zion Surronding Land Use

19% 57%

71%

11%

Meatpacking

42

Mix, Office & Commercial

0,5%

Putnam Surronding Land Use

18%

Residential, Commercial, Industrial

Residential

11%

18% 19%

18%

1% 9% 1% 51%

1%

Putnam Surronding Land Use

1% 9% 1%11% 0,5%

1% 9% 1%

73%

75% 25%

51% Mixed, Commercial, Office Diversity Surronding Land Use

25%

Zion Triangle is adjacent to a school and senior housing.

4%

4%

57%

8%

13% 15%

13% 19% Flatiron

Corona Surronding Land Use

6%1% 3% 2% 8%

6%

2%

0,5%

Corona Plaza is in a residential area, but is still adjacent to retail.

Diversity Surronding Land Use

13%

1% 9% 1%

13%

Putnam Surronding Land Use

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center 11%

0,5%

65%

Diversity Surronding Land Use

65%

1% 9% 1%

Putnam Surronding Land Use

11% 0,5%

Findings

43


M M

ER ICA S AM HE

AV 8

AV

ON

9 AV

ST HUDSON

FT

DIS

SARAT OGA SARAT SARAT AV OGA OGA AVAV

MA

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4S

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citi

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citi

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citi citi citi

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PA R

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DIS

ON

AV

ST

WEST

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GREENWICH ST

ST WASHINGTON

KA VS

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c

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2S

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Plaza Plaza Plaza Nursing Home or Senior 290 580Center Feet Nursing Home or or Senior Senior Cen Cen 290 580Feet Feet 290 580 Nursing Home NYCHA Housing NYCHA Housing NYCHA Housing School School School Library Library Library Garden Community Garden Garden Community

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! !!

N

37 RD RD 37RD 37

M M M

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B B M M BBM BB M M M B BB

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21

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citi

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T

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103

4 ST 4 ST ST 1010 104

T

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B

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L

MC

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B

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citi

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B B

B

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42 AV AV 42AV 42

Putnam Plaza Community Facilities

27

M M M

!

M M M

B

citibike Station E

B

ST

ST

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42 AV

B

GRAFTON

GRAFTON

B B

V KA

citibike Station

23

T

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V AV KA RK YO B B YORB B EW EN

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AL

citi

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41 AV

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19

25

B B M

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B

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99 S

AV

44 AV

NN

Subway Station

citi citi citi

T

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Subway Station

B

STST BEY BEY ST BAR BAR BARBEY

ST

ALAL AL

T

W

B

W

EX EX WY 38 AV KWY Bike NP ER ST EA

PK

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8 ST 8 ST ST 1010 108

100

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6S

citi

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41 AV

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AV HOWARDAV K SCHENC

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TAPSCOTT

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21

RN 580SFeet TE

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W

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ST

AV LIVONIA

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T

Library

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44

B B

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B

100

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26

B

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290 580 Feet 580 Feet NYCHA290 Housing 145

ST

B

NW

AL

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99 S

NN

Nursing Home or Senior Center Corona

1450

23

ST

S

B

0

M

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citi

V AV KA RK OR YO W 2 2 S EW Y EW EN E NT

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Most plazas are adjacent to public facilities, even in residential areas.

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N

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45


When people move in the plazas Afternoons are busy! Walking rates are the highest in the afternoons, between 12 -6pm.

Are people using the plazas to eat lunch or relax after work or school?

Weekday Pedestrian Flow

3,500

3,000

Diversity Plaza, low morning activity

Corona Flatiron has the highest daily average. Corona has the highest peak

In the weekend the rates varied from 0 at Zion and New Lots to 1,670 at Diversity

Flatiron 2,500

2,000

Diversity

1,500

Meatpacking 1,000

Average: 847

Putnam

500

New Lots

Zion

0 8

46

10

12

2

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

4

6

Diversity Plaza, high afternoon activity Findings

47


What people do in the plazas Lots of standing and sitting. Some commercial activity and waiting for transit. Very little play and activity.

Standing

Meatpacking Plaza Sitting and people watching Photo: Stine Ilum

Diversity Plaza Standing and informal sitting

New Lots Triangle Waiting for transport

Zion Triangle Taking a break

100%

Waiting for Transport Bench Seating Secondary Seating

75% Standing Waiting for Transport

CafĂŠ Seating Movable Seating

Bench Seating Secondary Seating Cafe Seating Plaza Putnam Movable Seating Enjoying a jazz band Lying Down

50%

Lying Down

Photo: Stine Ilum

Children Playing Commercial Activity

Children Playing Commercial Activity Physical Activity Working / Meeting

25%

Physical Activity

Police Social Contact Maintenance Personnel

Working / Meeting

48

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

New Lots Triangle

Zion Triangle

Putnam Plaza

Corona Plaza

Diversity Plaza

Maintenance Personnel

Meatpacking Plaza

Social Contact

Flatiron Plaza

0%

Police

Flatiron Plaza Work lunch

Corona Plaza Shopping at the farmers market Findings

49


Key Findings

01 02 03 04 05 50

Equitable Beginnings but Financial Challenges Thereafter

People Choose to Visit and Have Choices of Activity

Inviting, Open and Accessible Retreats in the City

Plazas are Physical, but Not Always Social Connectors

Lots of Different People and Places, but Most Plazas not That Racially Diverse

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

06 07 08 09 10 11

Plazas have a Shared Worth and Value

Plazas Are Used Seven Days a Week, Mostly Visited and Managed by Locals

Who is in the Plaza and Who is Not

Attractive Places in the City

A Temporary Intervention with Long Term Impacts

Spaces for Healthy Living

Findings

51


01

Equitable Beginnings, Financial Challenges Thereafter 197 197 116 116

8

The plazas are equitable in that all have increased open space, serving the local population and were seeded with the same amount of public 1,0001,000 PEAK PEAK 610 610 610 610funds and design implementation 419 419 259 259 palette. But equity is challenged by 0 0 the 6 born 10 10 12 12 2 2 budgets 4 4 6 are 8 8that fact maintenance solely by the fundraising capacities of the local management organizations. Similarly, plaza operational budgets do not equitably correspond to the volumes of pedestrian use. For example, Corona 2,000

EQUITY

PUBLIC

PUBLIC

EQUITY

LIFE PUBLIC LIFE

SPACE PUBLIC SPACE 1,000 1,000

PEAK PEAK 540 540

302 302

8 10 10 12 12 2

2

4

4

6

6

1,000 1,000

PEAK PEAK 810 810770 770

454 454 Equity measured by demographic equity 451 451 showed that the proportion of visitors 0 0 12 2 2 4mirrored 4 6 6 the 8 plazas 10 10 12 using8 the reasonably race, gender and income demographics of the neighborhood. Some exceptions included neighborhood plazas that attracted more men than women, destination plazas (in Manhattan’s 2,000

2,000

2,000 PEAK PEAK 17201720 16701670

10481048 Pedestrian Volume and Operations Budgets 1,000 1,000 921

Weekday 2

4

4

6

6

0

0

Flatiron 45,000 sq. ft. Operations Budget $375,000 (2014)

8

8 10 10 12 12 2

1,000 1,000

911 911

2

4

4

Time of Day

Pedestrian volumes at Corona Plaza, a neighborhood plaza just off of the 103 St/ Corona Plaza 7-line stop, were comparable to those of Flatiron Plaza, a major transit hub. Peak hour of 52

6

6

6

0

0

6

0

0

4,000 4,000

PEAK PEAK 34773477

3,000 3,000

Number of People

2,000 2,000

16261626

8 10 10 12 12 2

4

3,000 3,000

PEAK PEAK 24862486

8

4

Corona 13,500 sq. ft. Operations Budget $65,000 (2014)

4,000 4,000

16371637

2

15521552 14751475 11861186

8

2,000 2,000

Number of People

8 10 10Weekend 12 12 2

8

1,000 1,000

921

Key:

0

Plaza in Queens has a similar volume of visitors to Flatiron in Manhattan, but has a fraction of the operations budget.

PEAK 1238 11421142 PEAK 1238

861 861 675 675

0

1,000 1,000

8 10 10 12 12 2

2

4

4

6

0 6

0

Central Business District) that seem to attract higher numbers of young people and people with incomes below $24,999. The Manhattan plazas also attracted a higher rate of people with incomes less than $50,000. Seniors and children at the plazas were under-represented when compared to neighborhood Census data. Equity measured by the distribution of open space found that the addition of the plaza increased the amount of open space in the neighborhood, but only by less than 0.30 percent in most all cases. However, no neighborhood has an open space/people density above the recommended standard of 2.5 acres/1,000 people, and so while the plazas do create more open space, all neighborhoods could benefit from even more. Yet, quantity of open space is only one way to evaluate. The quality of the space can be more of an indicator of use than size. While open space requirements are important, more attention needs to be paid to the quality of neighborhood open spaces.

for the implementation and on-going maintenance costs of the public realm to be born by the public sector, shared by the public and private sector or absorbed independently by each neighborhood. All plaza implementation is 100% funded by the City of New York, however, the Manhattan plazas, given their access to corporate sponsors, were able to contribute additional funds to the initial implementation costs. All plazas bear 100% of their own maintenance costs, even though the plazas are still under public ownership.

Equity measured by capital investment raises an interesting debate about whether it is equitable

Time of Day

pedestrian volume at Corona surpassed Flatiron by almost 1,000 people. Corona however has only 17% of the Flatiron budget.

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Findings

53


02

People Choose to Visit, and Have Choices of Activity

Choice measured by the public life of the plaza found that plazas are ‘stickier’ – more people stay relative to the number that walk by – on the weekends. This indicates that people choose to spend time at the plazas when they have free time. Higher walking rates in the plazas during the afternoons, between lunch and commuting hours, indicate they also play a role in the ‘necessary’ activities of people’s lives: having lunch during the workday, picking kids up from school, or commuting.

CHOICE

CHOICE

PUBLIC

LIFE PUBLIC LIFE

PUBLIC

SPACE PUBLIC SPACE

Choice measured by public space design found that plazas with furniture, such as seats set-up consistently, and those near busy bus stops, such as New Lots, had more people staying. Choice measured by design flexibility and public space was found to be very high for all plazas. All plazas are designed with a higher percentage of movable furnishings rather than fixed elements, making the spaces adaptable for multiple passive and active activities.

Even the smallest plaza, 3,000 sq. ft. , can accommodate a yoga class of 166250 people measured at 1 person per 12-18 sq. ft.

activities, provides visitors with a high range of choices.

Choice measured by programming was also found to range from high to moderate for the plazas studies. The number of programmed events ranged from 12-50 during roughly 6 months of the year. This, coupled with the number of unplanned or unprogrammed

It is possible that programming leads certain groups to feel more invited than others, such as women or men, but more research is needed.

Intensity of Programming, 201

New Lots*

Zion

Putnam

Corona

Diversity

Meatpacking

Flatiron

Programming Volume, 2014

JAN Meatpacking District Plaza Movable seating Photo: Stine Ilum

FEB

Music event (Putnam Plaza) Photo: Stine Ilum

MAR APR

Corona Dance classes

The warmer months see a much higher rate of programming options than the winter time.

MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP

At some plazas, people primarily walk through (New Lots Triangle). 54

At others there are lots of opportunities to stay (Corona Plaza).

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

1-2 events / month

OCT

2-5 events / month

NOV

5+ events / month

Findings

DEC

* info not available 1-2 events / month 2-5 events / month

55


03

An Inviting, Open and Accessible Retreat in the City

Accessible design is about physical, barrier-free access, and access to amenities is about access to services. Access measured by accessible design and to new land uses or neighborhood services and public space was found to be high for all plazas. The edge conditions of the plaza were free from barriers, provided high visibility for pedestrians and created more direct

ACCESS

ACCESS

PUBLIC

LIFE PUBLIC LIFE

PUBLIC

SPACE PUBLIC SPACE

connections to adjacent land uses, such as retail or transport. Most plazas had very high levels of active retail edge conditions, while a couple, such as Zion and Putnam, were adjacent to a school or park. Access measured by user accessibility and public life was also found to be high given that all neighborhoods have a high density of residents and/or workers

Plaza Edge Conditions, Transit Stops and Community Facilities Corona Plaza

Access measured by pedestrian accessibility and public life/public space was assessed relative to how freely pedestrians could access the plaza, free from vehicular conflicts. Most people surveyed walk to the plazas.

Investigation into pedestrian and bicyclist injuries two years prior and two years after plaza installation indicate either no change or slight reduction in pedestrian and bicyclist injuries. We were unable to obtain data about how overall vehicular traffic volumes have changed.

How did you get to the plaza?

Flatiron Plaza

Zion Triangle

New Lots Triangle

Active edge

Dull edge

Bus Stops

Community Facilities

56

within a 10 minute walk of the plaza. The plazas are also accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Inactive edge

Most plazas had active edges - that engaged passersby - or were adjacent to parks or open space.

68% walked to the plazas

Residential edge

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Findings

57


58

PUBLIC

SPACE PUBLIC SPACE

New Lots Before

Even plazas with low activity rates - such as Putnam - foster social connections.

Plazas make walking by local businesses + walking to subway and bus stops more pleasant

100%

75%

New Lots After

50%

Photo credit: NYC DOT

People with lower incomes met or recognized new people at a higher rate.

No, I don’t recognize / know more Yes, I recognize / know more

25%

25%

20%

20%

15%

15%

10%

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

10%

5%

$0 to $14,999

White

Two or more races

Hispanic or Latino

Black or African American

(blank)

Findings

(blank)

5%No, I don’t recognize / know more 0%Yes, I recognize / know more

0% Asian

Across plazas, people-of-color were more likely to recognize/know more people in the neighborhood, due to the plaza. Note: the plazas that had majority white visitors —Meatpacking & Flatiron— aren’t “neighborhood” plazas; they attracted more visitors than locals, which could influence less connectivity.

Connectivity & Income

$100,000 or more

New Lots Triangle

Zion Triangle

Connectivity & Race

$50,000 to $99,999

0%

$15,000 to $49,999

25%

Putnam Plaza

Connectivity measured by interpersonal connections varied across the plazas. The neighborhood plazas saw more interpersonal connectivity than the Manhattan destination plazas, measured by the number of people that either made new acquaintances or began to recognize the same people in the plaza. Of the plazas with high interpersonal connectivity, there was little difference found between the personal connections made by age and gender, but slight differences by race/ethnicity and income.

Yes, I recognize / know more

Corona Plaza

Connectivity measured by transportation connection was high for all the plazas with all having access to subway and/or bus lines within a 5-minute walk. The large majority of users primarily reached the plazas by walking.

No, I don’t recognize / know more

Diversity Plaza

The plazas make walking to transit or local shops more direct, and they foster meeting or recognizing other people, which could increase opportunities to build social capital. This is important since both long commute times and lack of social capital (defined as ability to connect and develop social connections with others in the community (by social scientists such as Robert Putnam) have recently been tied to less upward mobility (‘Where is the land of opportunity?’, Raj Chetty et al., 2014).

PUBLIC

Since the plaza opened, do you recognize or know more people in the neighborhood?

Meatpacking Plaza

The plazas support high transportation connectivity across the board, but uneven social connectivity, which is higher in the outer borough plazas than in the Manhattan plazas.

CONNECTIVITY

LIFE CONNECTIVITY PUBLIC LIFE

Flatiron Plaza

04

Plazas are Physical, Not Always Social Connectors

59


than the neighborhood

05

Asian

Plazas

9% 3% Lots Whiteof Different People 7% / AfricanBut American & Black Places, Most Not Hispanic / Latino 4% that Racially DiverseFlatiron Other race

11%

9% Plazas

6% 7%

DIVERSITY

PUBLIC

LIFE DIVERSITY PUBLIC Meatpacking LIFE

7%

American Indian / Alaska Native Plaza Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander Two or more races Asian

77%

3% 7%

Plaza 4% 4%

77%

69%

6%

24%

9% Diversity Plaza

7% 3% 85% 3%

20

In focus: two

10% 9% extremes 2% Putnam 8% Plaza

11% 9% 2% Corona 5% 6% Plaza 15% 15% 7%

Flatiron Plaza

62%

6%

5%

6% 2% 1%

Neighborhoods

62%

69%

3%

24%

39%

4% Diversity 5% Meatpacking 42% Plaza 47%

Meatpacking Flatiron Plaza

Almost a 1:1 match in the race/ethnicity Plazas of plaza visitors compared to nearby residents.

entire City (which is very diverse) or Flatiron Plaza 2% 76% 71% 77% 62% 85% 69% Neighborhoods from outside of NY. This could be due to the demographics of the local worker 6%3% 2% 11% 3% 6% 10% populations 9% 11% 9% or of tourists. While the9% 15 20% 5% 6% 20 Are the plazas more or Areless the diverse plazas more or less diverse 17% 10% 37% 3% 24% 2% 2% 3% NYC’s residential patterns are plazas may not bring people of different Neighborhoods than the neighborhood than the neighborhood 2% 6% 7% >1% 1% 8%do segregated by income and race/ethnicity races/ethnicities together, they 1% 39% 15% 2% and the plazas reflect this. While racial/ 7% support income and gender diversity, 7% 3% 10% 9% 4% 17% 7% ethnic homogeneityWhite at the plazas with many users earning less 2% Putnam 2% 4%than theDiversity White Corona Flatiron Zion Meatpacking 5% Flatiron Meatpacking Corona Diversity Putnam 7%plaza neighborhood median incomes at Black / African American Black / African American where most users are local reflects 8% Plaza Plaza Plaza Plaza Triangle 3% Plaza 39% Hispanic / Latino Hispanic / Latino 15% 2% these citywide patterns, it is less clear all plazas studied. Other race Other race why American this is the case at the Manhattan Indian / Alaska American Native Indian / Alaska Native 4% Flatiron Meatpacking Native Hawaiian / Pacific Native Islander Hawaiian / Pacific plazas, which attract people from the Islander Corona Diversity Plaza 85% 2% 40% 76% 3% 85% 71% 41% 74% 62% 69% 42% 47% Two or more races Two or more races 77% Asian

Asian

Race/Ethnicity at the Plazas compared to the Neighborhoods

3%

Plazas 9%

3%

7%

7%

2%

11% 6%

6%

7%

7%

4% 15%

4% 4%

9%9% 11%

Flatiron Plaza

Flatiron

2% 15% 15%

-

8%

5% 17%

39%

5% Diversity Corona5% Plaza Plaza

Meatpacking

9%

2% 15% 3%

71%

Flatiron Plaza Slightly less diverse at the plaza 60

9%

2%

69%

62%

62%

69%

6%

5%

3% 2% 3%

20%

10%

3% 1%

15% 13%

13% 20% 37%

>1%

22%

>1%

7% 7%

Zion New Lots Triangle Triangle

Corona

Diversity

3% 11% 20%

20%

3% 3% Putnam Zion Plaza Triangle

2%

Corona Putnam Plaza Plaza

10%

8%

2% 8%

4% 4% Flatiron Meatpacking

=

71%

76%

Meatpacking Plaza Same

85%

85%

10% 39%

39%

2%

Meatpacking Diversity

2%

76%

Diversity Plaza A little less diverse at the plaza

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

2%

=

40%

Corona Plaza Same

3% 2% 11% 10% 3% 1% 7%

Diversity Corona

40% 2%

42% 47%

47%

7%

New Lots Triangle

Putnam

37% 3% 1%

Zion

41%

11%

15%

>1% 37%

>1%

74%

60%

60%

15%

>1% 22%

85%

Putnam

Hispanic / Latino 1%

1%

22%

Other race

>1%

= 41%

Putnam Plaza Same

Zion

American Indian / Alaska Native Zion

+

84%

Black / African American

84%

41%

7%

Corona Putnam

85%

74%

85%

40%

3% 2% 17% 10%

17%

42%

2%

76%

71%

Neighborhoods

Flatiron

3% 3%

6% 6% 6% 2% 1%

6% 6% 24% 2% 1%

9%

24%

40%

White 77%

77%

Neighborhoods

10%

MeatpackingDiversity 4%Plaza Plaza

FlatironMeatpacking 7% 7% Plaza Plaza

3%

9%

2%

2%

76%

71%

Neighborhoods

Plazas

New Lots

84%

Zion Triangle Slightly more diverse at the plaza

Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander

New Lots

+

77%

Two or more races 77%

New Lots Triangle More diverse at the plaza

Findings

Asian U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2009-2013, Five-year estimates and Gehl/JMBC Plaza Intercept Survey 2014

61


Plazas

05

10%

Lots of Different29% $0 - $14,999 $15,000 People- $49,999 & Places

10% LIFE DIVERSITY PUBLIC 29% Meatpacking LIFE DIVERSITY

Flatiron Plaza

31%

Income Diversity - plazas appear to foster more income diversity than their neighborhoods. Plazas

PUBLIC

Flatiron Plaza

25%

Income at the Plazas compared to the Neighborhoods Neighborhoods

Plazas

10% 29%

9%

10% 26%

20% 26%

19%

9%

5% 20%

38% 19%

15% Flatiron Plaza

Flatiron Meatpacking Plaza Plaza

30% 31%

31%

9%

Flatiron

-

29% 25%

15%

Flatiron Plaza Slightly less diverse at the plaza 62

50%

19%

29%

38%

50%

17%

12% 19%

Meatpacking Plaza Less diverse

7%

4% 12% 25%

19% 29% 30%

13%

25%

19% 17% 15%

Meatpacking Flatiron 39% 58%

33% 25%

24% 19%

50% 57%

13% 3% 10%

16%

24% 19% 29% 10% 13%

16% 25%

9% 9%

Corona Diversity Plaza

30% 31%

5% 9% 9% Corona 38% 20% 17% Plaza 15%

50% 38% 57% 25%

12% 7% 4% 19% Neighborhoods

Putnam Corona Plaza

17%

Diversity Meatpacking 37% 31% 24% 39%

3%

18% 30%

38%

Corona Plaza

Corona Plaza

Diversity 58% 31%

31%

25%

58%

39%

30% 16% 12%

Putnam Plaza

10%

16%

10% 30%

Putnam Plaza

30%

24%

Diversity Corona

39% 30%

Diversity Plaza A little less diverse at the plaza

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

-

33%

39%

Corona

31% 33%

Corona Plaza A lot less diverse

28%

14% 18% 38%

Zion New Lots Triangle Triangle

Corona

37% 25%

14% 30%

8% 14%

Putnam

28% 28%

40%

Putnam Plaza Slightly less diverse

Meatpacking

24% 39% 58%

31% 30% 50% 38%

3%

25% 33% 30% 31%

14% 38%

18% 20%

10% 16% 12% 19% Zion Putnam Triangle Corona Diversity Corona Plaza 28% 59%

38%

30%1

28%

40% 44%

39% 31%

33% 30%

44%

28% 33%

8% 32%

20%

20%

Zion

28%

28% 8%

32% 20%

Zion

28%

44%

20%

Zion

+

40%

Zion Triangle More diverse at the plaza

13% 32%

29% 20%

New Lots

13%

$15,000 - $49,999

40%

$50,000 - $99,999

29%

$100,000 +

New Lots

+

38%

38%

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2009-2013, Five-year estimates and Gehl/JMBC Plaza Intercept Survey 2014

New Lots Triangle More diverse at the plaza Findings

1 7% 25% 19%

59%

$0 - $14,999 59%

31% 20%

Corona Diversity Diversity 37% Meatpacking Plaza Plaza 25%

New Lots Triangle

Putnam

37%

59%

33%

Putnam

31%

Zion Triangle

13%

4% 7% 5% 9% 12% 19% Putnam 38% 19% Plaza 17%

30%

9% 12%

30% 50%

38%

31% 38%

In focus: two extremes

Neighborhoods

19% 26%

29%

38% 25% 25%

Diversity Meatpacking Flatiron Plaza 58% Plaza 31%

57% 25% 31%

17%

Meatpacking Diversity

24% 50%

Diversity Plaza

24%

9% 19%

Flatiron Meatpacking

19% 57%

38%

9%

9% 15%

Meatpacking

19%

57% Neighborhoods

Neighborhoods

57%

30%

25%

4% 19% 38%

15%

4%

7%

17%

MeatpackingDiversity Plaza Plaza

Flatiron

5% 7%

9% 10% 20%

Meatpacking Flatiron Plaza Plaza

38%

19%

57%

Plazas

29%

29%

shops – may influence who feels invited to spend time in the plazas. For example, Neighborhoods 30% Corona and Diversity are surrounded 31% by businesses catering to certain cultures 9% (Hispanic/Latino 9% and Southeast Asian, 5% 20% respectively) and Meatpacking and 38% Neighborhoods 19% 26% 15% 17% Flatiron are surrounded by landmarks – such as the Flatiron Building or 9% Meatpacking district – and high-end Diversity Meatpacking Flatiron Meatpacking retail, such as Eataly or Theory – that 15% Plaza Plaza may be more attractive to tourists and wealthier visitors. Both destination and neighborhood plazas were diverse by Flatiron 24% 19% 29% 50% 57% 25% 38% income.

Diversity measured by user 10% Are the plazas moreAre or less the plazas diversemore or less diverse demographics varied between 29% than the neighborhood than the neighborhood neighborhood and destination plazas. There was a wide representation of all types people by race, income, $0of - $14,999 $0 - $14,999 Flatiron age $15,000 -However, $49,999 and $15,000 gender- $49,999 in all plazas. the Plaza $50,000 - $99,999 $50,000 - $99,999 destination (Manhattan) plazas were $100,000 + $100,000 + diverse in terms of age, gender and income, but not by race/ethnicity. 30% Adjacent land uses31% – especially retail

Diversity Plaza

26% 29%

Plaza

30%

38%

19% Neighborhoods Plazas

29% 30%

25% 31%

5%

20%

Plazas 26%

$50,000 - $99,999 $100,000 +

30%

31%

63


05

Lots of Different People & Places

DIVERSITY

PUBLIC

LIFE DIVERSITY PUBLIC LIFE

Seniors and children were underrepresented in all plazas. Manhattan destination plazas were more diverse by gender.

Corona had more women in the plaza than in the neighborhood. Diversity and Putnam had a higher rate of men than live in their respective neighborhoods. The others were fairly balanced.

Diversity measured by design diversity found that the design elements of the plazas provided a variety of places to sit, gather, or stand.

Meatpacking

Type

Diversity

Plaza

Neighborhood

Audience

Survey of Annual Programming Diversity, Corona

Diversity of Annual Programming 2014 Programming Breakdown Flatiron 2014 Events/Activities

Type

TYPE

Meatpacking Diversity

Flatiron

Diversity

100% Corona Diversity New Lots Zion Putnam Flatiron Meatpacking

Zion

Audience

AUDIENCE

New Lots* 60%

Putnam

Meatpacking

75%

Putnam

Corona Arts Education Health + Wellness Other

Zion New Lots*

General Audience Seniors Cultural Heriage Youth + Family

Corona

40%

Putnam

nfo not available

month month onth

2014 Programming Breakdown

50/50

Di Ne ffer to igh enc Pl bo e az rh fro a oo m d

New Lots*

Zion

Putnam

Difference in gender Diversity measured by programming between plaza visitors diversity was moderate in most cases. and the neighborhood Several plazas host events that cater to general audiences rather than events that are more specific to neighborhood Survey of Annual Programming Diversity, gramming, 2014 such as programs for demographics, Plaza 2014 Programming Breakdown children, seniors or celebrating cultural 100% 75% heritage. Exceptions to this can be Neighborhood Type Audience found in the neighborhood plazas that had high numbers of heritage cultural Survey of Annual Programming Diversity, programming. Flatiron

Arts Education Health + Wellness Other

General Audience

Seniors Survey of Annual Programming Diversity, Cultural Heriage 2014 Programming Youth + Family Breakdown

Zion New Lots*

Arts Education 64 Health + WellnessGehl 64 Other

General Audience Seniors Studio Cultural & J. Max Bond Heriage Youth + Family

Active / Passive

Survey of Annual Programming Diversity, CenterFlatiron 2014 Programming Breakdown Meatpacking

Corona

50/50

Female

20%

58%

Diversity

73% Male

40%

60%

Findings

80%

65


Ownership measured by informal ownership was high - most people said “this is my plaza.” More informal ownership was felt at the neighborhood plazas than the destination plazas, and visitors were least likely to believe the plaza belonged to them, suggesting that the plazas share a strong identity to their local neighborhood and residents. Ownership measured by neighborhood residential home ownership was found to be on average with borough and New York City home ownership rates.

PUBLIC

LIFE PUBLIC LIFE

PUBLIC

SPACE PUBLIC SPACE

However, for the neighborhood plazas, residential tenure in the neighborhood was high, ranging from 2-28 years for local respondents (local defined as resident who shares a home zip code with the plaza and 5-26 for all respondents. Ownership measured by formal structures of ownership and management was high for all plazas in that all had either locally based formal or volunteer organizational structures for managing the plazas. In

most cases, local business owners led these organizations, with some resident participation. People want to take care of their plazas. While intercept surveys did not necessarily reflect what people would do, they did indicate that people feel a sense of stewardship for the spaces. For example, when asked how they would respond to a large piece of trash in the plaza, the majority said they would pick it up, across the board.

Sense of ownership

100%

What would you do if you saw a large piece of trash in your plaza?

100%

75%

Ownership is high even though just 3% of people surveyed told us they participated in the plaza planning process.

50%

50%

25%

25%

Do nothing

No, not interested

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Findings

New Lots Triangle

YES!

Zion Triangle

0% Putnam Plaza

New Lots Triangle

Zion Triangle

Putnam Plaza

Corona Plaza

Diversity Plaza

Meatpacking Plaza

Flatiron Plaza

0%

Corona Plaza

Do nothingNo, just visiting Search for maintenance really Pick it up!Not (if not too dirty)

Diversity Plaza

Search for maintenance

66

Additionally, higher income respondents indicated “No, just visiting or traveling through” at a higher rate.

Is this plaza Your plaza?

75%

Pick it up! (if not too dirty)

Across all incomes, visitors responded “Absolutely Yes”. However, lower-income respondents answered at a higher percentage to Absolutely Yes than higher income respondents, indicating those with lower-incomes have a slightly higher sense of ownership than those with higher incomes.

Meatpacking Plaza

Sense of stewardship

OWNERSHIP

OWNERSHIP

Flatiron Plaza

06

Plazas Have a Shared Worth and Value

67


PUBLIC

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

The more local they are, the more often they visit - neighborhood plazas have higher rates of frequent visitors.

100%

75%

Visitors with the lowest and medium incomes visit the most frequently, while those with the highest incomes visit the least

50%

25%

Rarely Every few months Daily / Weekly

0% New Lots Triangle

By age, younger users preferred weekends to weekdays and older users weekdays to weekends. By race/ethnicity and income, a difference was not observed.

Frequency of Visits

Zion Triangle

For time spent in the plazas weekday afternoons and weekends were the most popular, followed by weekday mornings and weekday afternoons.

Participation measured by how design enables activity was high for most plazas. All plazas allowed for several kinds of activities, both active and passive, because of the flexible layouts of the spaces and various options for creating different seating and gathering configurations. The plazas had no signage restricting activity.

High rates of activity aren’t the only measure of success. Some plazas with lower activity rates - such as Putnam - have higher rates of frequent visitors, indicating their value as a community asset and place to spend time outside, regularly.

Putnam Plaza

By income, those with lower incomes tended to use the plaza more frequently (daily, weekly) than those with higher incomes. By gender, female users indicated they used the plaza slightly less frequently than the male users. By age, a difference was not observed. By race/ethnicity, a determination was not made.

Participation measured by neighborhood participation in management was high in the neighborhood plazas. However, residents of the neighborhood did not volunteer at or staff the destination plazas. All plazas had high participation by area business owners and/or operators.

Putnam (Photo: Stine Ilum)

Corona Plaza

Participation is measured by user activity, both the amount of time spent and frequency of time spent in the plaza. Manhattan destination plazas tended to be used weekly, monthly or rarely.

Flatiron

Diversity Plaza

The majority of locals at the outer borough plazas visit daily or weekly. In Manhattan, the plazas are well used, but are visited primarily by people from the greater New York area (Flatiron) or outside of the City (Meatpacking).

High rates of participation in the plazas did not correspond to the highest rates of design quality. Using the Gehl quality criteria all the plazas have quality design, but a few are still exposed to traffic and noise – such as Flatiron and Corona. Despite this, those two plazas have the highest rates of people walking by and using them.

Meatpacking Plaza

The more local they are, the more often they visit.

68

PARTICIPATION

LIFE PARTICIPATION PUBLIC LIFE

Flatiron Plaza

07

Good Plaza Use Seven Days a Week

Findings

Rarely Every few months Daily / Weekly

69


08

Who is in the Plaza and Who Is not

Plaza Lighting INCLUSION +

PUBLIC

BELONGING LIFE INCLUSION + PUBLIC BELONGING LIFE

Inclusion and Belonging measured demographic inclusion in the plaza relative to the neighborhood demographics. The neighborhood plazas tend to be more racially inclusive than the Manhattan destination plazas and the Manhattan destination plazas were more income inclusive than the neighborhood plazas. When differences were looked at by time of day, there was no difference observed by income, gender, or race. By age, younger users preferred the weekends to the weekdays; older users preferred weekday afternoons.

Inclusion and Belonging measured by design elements that promote safety found little to no evidence of fences, gates or other physical barriers that prevented users from freely moving in and around the plazas.

“Has this plaza increased how safe you feel in this area?” by Race

“Has this plaza increased how safe you feel in this area?” by Gender

100%

100%

75%

75%

50%

50%

25%

25%

The plazas also had reasonably good lighting levels, although several plaza users wanted to see more pedestrian or storefront lighting. Only one plaza had a surveillance camera and most plazas reported adequate levels of police or security presence.

Not at all

Not at all Greatly / Somewhat Can’t tell

Greatly / Somewhat

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Diversity Plaza

(Blank)

Other

Male

Female

(blank)

White

Two or more races

Hispanic or Latino

Black or African American

Asian

70

Key:

Corona Plaza

The plazas improved the perception of safety equally among men and women, and among all races.

Not at all Greatly / Somewhat 0%Can’t tell

0%

Overall, the plazas are well lit at night and improve perceptions of safety in the neighborhoods where they are located.

Can’t tell

Diversity Plaza

Findings

71


09

Attractive Places in the City

BEAUTY

BEAUTY

Beauty measured by the aesthetics of design features found very high levels of satisfaction, with most respondents saying the area’s overall appearance had improved since the plaza’s construction. The levels of satisfaction were similarly high across different demographic categories of age, income, gender and race/ethnicity.

PUBLIC

SPACE PUBLIC SPACE

60% said Tables/ Chairs or Flowers/ Planters Made Plazas Attractive

Beauty measured by appearance of the plaza was not as overwhelmingly positive, as some plazas had low marks for cleanliness. Some plazas also saw more improvements to adjacent storefront appearance than others, but overall appearance of the public realm improved.

Yes, they said ‘no

Level of Cleanliness Aesthetic Impact

100%

Level of Cleanliness

Does the plaza improve the appearance of the area?

Meatpacking Flatiron Diversity Corona New Lots Zion Putnam

75%

50%

low

Key:

Street Debris Overflowing Garbage Clogged Street Gutters Debris in Planters Plantings in Poor Condition

25%

No opinion No

72

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

New Lots Triangle

Zion Triangle

Putnam Plaza

Corona Plaza

Diversity Plaza

Meatpacking Plaza

0% Flatiron Plaza

Yes

No opinion High No Yes

medium

Some Street Debris Garbage Medium to Full Plantings in Fair Condition

Levels of Cleanliness in Meatpacking Plaza

high

No Street Debris Garbage Frequently Emptied Plantings in Good Condition

Low Levels of Cleanliness in New Lots Triangle

Findings

73


10

A Temporary Intervention with Long Term Impacts

CREATIVE INNOVATION INNOVATION CREATIVE

The DOT is taking innovative steps to reclaim street space for people.

Yet the program is a work in progress, and there are funding challenges.

The plaza program creates opportunities for the city to act as a facilitator and invite community organizations to co-create new public spaces in their neighborhoods.

The fact that people report high levels of ownership and positive reaction to the plazas supports the need for more funding. The plazas are quick, interim interventions - additional funding could help to make sure they live on beyond the life cycle of interim materials and can host the programming that invites for all living in a neighborhood.

The program allows street space to be re-purposed and reclaimed in a way that seemed impossible just ten years ago.

40% said there are creative or innovative things about the plazas

PUBLIC

SPACE PUBLIC SPACE

Photo: Stine Ilum

Pearl Street Triangle Plaza, DUMBO What would you like to see in this plaza?

BOARD GAMES

WATER

TREES SHADE

SKATEPARK

PLANTERS FOODTABLES UMBRELLASPOLICE SIGNAGE

MUSIC BENCHES CREAM

DOGS

PAINTED PAVEMENT

EVENTS

SOCIAL LIVELY KID FRIENDLY MOVIE SCREENING

VEGETABLES PEOPLE RECYCLING

CLEANLIGHTS PLANTINGS SEATING SPACE FESTIVALSFLOWERS MARKET ARTCARTS TRASH

NUTRITION

ORGANIZATION SOLAR

CANS

FLEA

SHELTER

FRUITS

HEALTHY

FRIENDLY

ILLUMINATED

ACTIVITIES

BICYCLING

UNIQUE

GARDEN

ENTERTAINMENT PAVEMENT VENDORS FOUNTAIN

DRINKING FOUNTAIN

RECREATION

TRANSPORTATION

Photo credit: DOT 74

HAND SANITIZER

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

RESTROOMS

MUSICIANS

BEER

WINDSCREEN GARBAGE CANS

STORES

CHAIRS SAFE PLAYGROUND

WiFi

INTERACTIVE

OPEN

FARMERS SHOP COMMUNITY ICE CREAM CLASSES VARIETY

Findings

COLOR BINS

TABLE

BEAUTIFUL CONCERTS

75


Survey of Annual Programming Diversity, 2014 Programming Breakdown Spaces for Healthy

11

Living Type

Audience

HEALTH +

PUBLIC

WELLNESS LIFE HEALTH + PUBLIC WELLNESS LIFE

PUBLIC

62% said the plaza increased time spent outside

SPACE PUBLIC SPACE

Flatiron Meatpacking Diversity

Plazas increase the amount of time Corona people spend outside. Putnam

health conditions however varied between the Manhattan plazas and outer borough plazas. Outer borough plazas suffered from lower health indexes with higher rates of diabetes, obesity, heart disease. Asthma rates were also higher in New Lots and Zion than in other plaza areas.

Health and Wellness measured by Zion levels (active versus passive) activity was found to be low to moderate, with New Lots* people predominately sitting, standing, or passing through. Outside of the occasional programmed event promoting Artsand fitness, all plazas General Audience Currently there is no data available physical health Education Seniors to track the relationship between the were passive spaces. Health + Wellness Cultural Heriage plazas and resident health. This data Other Youth + Family would have to be longitudinally tracked Health and Wellness measured by health (over multiple years) to be able to make demographics of plaza users was found a connection to the plazas and human to be generally high. Neighborhood health.

urvey of Annual Programming Diversity, 2014 Programming Breakdown Survey of Annual Programming, 2014 Active versus Passive Programming

Active / Passive

Has this plaza increased the time you spend in public space? 100%

Plazas in areas with the least amount of open space Diversity and Corona - have the most dramatic response to time increased time spent outside

75%

Flatiron Meatpacking

50%

Diversity Corona Putnam

25%

Zion No

New Lots*

Yes

76

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

No difference Greatly or somewhat

New Lots Triangle

Zion Triangle

Putnam Plaza

Corona Plaza

Diversity Plaza

Interviews with Plaza Managers, April 2015

Meatpacking Plaza

Passive Active

Flatiron Plaza

0%

Findings

77


Plaza Specific Findings

Brooklyn Putnam Plaza Zion Triangle

Meatpacking Plaza Flatiron District Plaza Diversity Plaza Corona Plaza Zion Triangle Plaza Putnam Plaza

New Lots Triangle

New Lots Specific findings for the New Lots Triangle Plaza are not included as the project team was unable to interview the plaza manager and many changes have taken place at the plaza since the study was conducted.

78

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Findings

79


MEATPACKING DISTRICT PLAZA au

s

STRONG SUPPORT FROM LOCAL SPONSORS

LIT

EW

ES T1

2T

SUPPORTS BUSINESSES, NOT RESIDENTS

9T

HS T

The plaza’s core mission is to support nearby commercial entities; a difference from the other plazas studied. (Participation)

Ba

Inn

ga

tel le

Pa ra

do u

Cie

Re vel

lo C

lub

TL

HA VE

NY

C

Pa stis

Ar h

The plaza is consistently supported by commercial sponsors that provide programming, contribute to creating custom designed furniture, and attract visitors, both local and international. (Equity, Diversity, Ownership, Beauty)

LW 1

Th r

Po rt

ave

n

196

1

CLEAN, QUALITY SPACE The plaza is very well maintained. (Beauty) VISITORS HAVE DIVERSE INCOMES

GANSEVOORT ST

Griffin Bar

GREENWICH ST

Ba

eR

We Wo rk

2

Sugar Factory American Brasseire

0 80

100 Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Theory

Rebecca Taylor

Plaza users have a wider range of incomes than the predominantly high-income neighborhood residents. Lie Sangbon (Diversity)

200 ft Findings

81


FLATIRON DISTRICT PLAZA

MAGNET FOR NYC VISITORS

Jennifer Leather

This 45,000 sq. ft. plaza is one of the busiest, with visitors from across NYC, and over 40,000 pedestrians on nearby 5th Ave. (Connectivity)

Pret à Manger

Eataly Vino

Lenny’s

Eataly Scoula

STRONG PARTICIPATION

Citi Bank

Fidelity

Locksmith

Yamak

B

AY DW OA BR

M&T Bank

Eataly Gielato

Eataly Cafe

Lego

Duane Reade

Deli Marché

T- Mobile

City Market Cafe

Jamba Juice

Stephen & CO.

Marimeko

WEST 23 ST

Shoe Repair

EQUITABLE DEMOGRAPHICS SERVED The plaza attracts an equitable range of users by gender, age, and income though the local population is primarily wealthy & white. (Equity)

M

5TH AVE

SOCIAL CONNECTIVITY BY INCOME

i

Sprint

Individuals who earn low to moderate incomes recognize and make more social connections in the plaza than those with higher incomes. (Connectivity)

AY ADW BRO

M

EAST 23 ST

M

M

PLAZA SPURS NEARBY INVESTMENT

M

The plaza was part of many real estate changes and city initiatives to reinvigorate Broadway and attracted new businesses.

ank

TD B

0 82

100 Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

High volumes of use can be attributed to a location near high profile commercial & park destinations and frequent programming by the BID. (Participation) WEST 25 ST

WEST 24 ST

Dry-cleaners &

Club

The 40/40

Starbucks

200 ft Findings

83


DIVERSITY PLAZA

FEW WOMEN & LOCAL RESIDENTS Consistent pedestrian traffic and use, but a lack of consistent female visitors & residents from the plaza zip code. (Diversity, Inclusion/ Belonging) RICH CULTURAL PROGRAMMING

Salon

ka New Men

NetGen

Cell Bell

Music

Today’s

Taishin

Diner

Kabab King

Liquor

73 ST

wler Altmas Je

City Bank

Frequent ethnic festivals and programs that raise awareness about the Asian populations residing in the neighborhood. (Choice, Diversity)

M

37 RD

HIGH RATE OF INTERRACIAL & INTERNATIONAL INTERACTIONS

less

ABC Wire

Mo Int on li ern te ati on

The plaza was identified as a unique place for cultural co-mingling. (Connectivity, Inclusion/Belonging)

D He elhi igh t

Mo Dig ktah ita l vi de

b

Merit Kaba

o

Dumpling

al

M Fin

an

Str eet

74 ST

Wa ll

BR OA DW AY

ce

Four Seasons Fashion Uniform

ara

Muktadh

M

Volunteer organizations managing the plaza are under-resourced, which impacts the appearance of the plaza. (Equity, Beauty)

MOST PASS-THROUGH; RATHER THAN STAY

E

T AV ROOSEVEL

Low “stickiness” revealed that a higher proportion of people walk through than stay and linger. (Connectivity, Participation, Inclusion/Belonging)

M

0 84

100 Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

MANAGEMENT OVERBURDENED WITH UPKEEP

200 ft Findings

85


CORONA PLAZA

WELL USED BY LOCALS Majority of visitors to the plaza are from within 2 miles of the space. (Participation)

ST 103

STRONG SENSE OF LOCAL OWNERSHIP

B

B

Cricket

T mobile

Residents and local organizations are extremely active in programming, and benefit from discounted permitting fees. (Participation)

s

Wireles

ROOSEVELT AVE

PLAZA NEEDS MORE TLC ant Eleg ion h Fas

M

A high-volume of visitors means the plaza furniture is well used, and needs attention and repair. Yet this is the only plaza studied that has invested in a public bathroom. (Beauty)

’s helle Mic Shop Gift

104

BR

ST

t Pos U.S e Offic

NATIO NAL ST

IMPROVED COMMUTER EXPERIENCE o Gyr a ona Cor d Pizz n a

ens lgre Wal

The plaza is a local transit hub. Observation and interviews found that commuters rest before travel, and are greeted by their families in the afternoon. (Access)

ica

mer

aA n L

io a Vis

on Cor

ery Bak

o ing Tulc Deli and

LOTS OF CHILDREN

0 86

100 Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

200 ft

VE 41 A

VE 41 A

Findings

The plaza had the highest rate of children playing compared to all surveyed, but still a lower proportion than live in the area. (Inclusion/Belonging) 87


ZION TRIANGLE

OPPORTUNITY TO BE MORE VISIBLE Only plaza surveyed not directly adjacent to or across from a subway, and was in the least dense neighborhood, which may contribute to lower usage rates. (Access) INCREASED SAFETY

LINCOLN PL

to Au

rs

pai

Re

B

ool

r Sch harte

C sville

Brown

A majority of users reported an increased perception of safety in the neighborhood since the plaza creation. (Inclusion/ Belonging) DELIGHTFUL LOCAL GEM Strong sense of beauty, ownership, & participation from area residents, especially in warmer seasons. Plaza was one of the best maintained in the study. (Beauty)

Deals

VE KA

EW

R YO

B

TN AS

WHERE TO SIT?

E

AVE LEGION

PITKIN

The plaza is adjacent to a NYC Parks site that offers many benches in the shade, which appeared to be more appealing than movable seating in warmer months. (Choice)

Gourmet Grocery

ST

A PLACE TO PLAY, WEEKDAY AFTERNOONS

N ST

GRAFTO

rmarket

NSA Supe

0 88

100 Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

200 ft Findings

Rates of children in the plaza peak on weekday afternoons, when the adjacent school lets out. Zion had highest rate of kids, of Brooklyn plazas. (Inclusion/Belonging) 89


PUTNAM PLAZA

PEOPLE STAY & CHILL The plaza did not have the highest volume of use, of all studied, but it did have one of the highest rates of frequent - daily or weekly - use. (Participation)

The majority of those observed in the plaza were senior men. And the plaza has served as a place for seniors and the BID to connect and even organize to keep a senior center open. (Inclusion/ Belonging, Connectivity) TNAM AVE

AVE

IDGE CAMBR

GRAND

A SPACE FOR OLDER MEN

PL

mbrid

ge

Hill Cafe

Clean Rite Center

Bel Air Salon

Putnam Groceries

PU

HIGH LEVELS OF COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP Programming in the plaza

Fulton is and guided nd Bar Grasupported

by local organizations for a variety of age groups, including children. (Choice)

B FUL TON ST

U.S P Office ost

WOMEN FEEL SAFER

Jazz

The survey revealed that high volumes of women, in particular, feel a stronger sense of safety in and around the plaza area. (Inclusion/Belonging)

966 Deli

INCREASED OUTDOOR TIME

Sama Cuizin nta South er e

n

0 90

100 Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

58% said the plaza increased time spent outdoors. (Health & Wellbeing)

200 ft Findings

91


Recommendations


Overview

Recommendations: Citywide

The goal of our collaborative study was to determine how NYC plaza’s were performing for people and the relationship between public space and public life with issues of social and spatial injustice. Gehl and JMBC developed an indicator framework tool to evaluate the performance of seven NYC reclaimed streets converted to public plazas. We have outlined a set of recommendations for the NYC Plaza Program and the actual framework methodology, based on core findings revealed by the new measurement tool. These recommendations can inform the plaza program structure and funding; future plaza improvements and investments; further development of the measurement tool; and how the city and local communities could adopt and use such a tool. Overall, the plazas support many elements of urban justice. There is also room for improvement and many plaza managers could use more financial and operational support. Nonetheless, due to the dedication of these same managers, the plazas are well cared for 94

and loved, they are functioning as new neighborhood open spaces that serve local residents and visitors, and they are providing a platform to engage with one’s community and spend more time outside. As the current de Blasio administration works to fulfill OneNYC’s goals and make the city a more equitable place to live, plazas – implemented and planned should be prioritized. As this report has shown, the public realm can be a great equalizer in cities and can be one of the few civic assets where public life can flourish and urban justice can thrive. The following pages outline recommendations for the: local plaza management organizations and the Mayor’s Office; the Departments of Transportation (DOT), City Planning (DCP), Housing, Preservation and Development (HPD), Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Community Affairs Unit (CAU), and Cultural Affairs (DCLA).

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

1. Incorporate people and behavior metrics into citywide planning initiatives (including Urban Justice Framework & Indicators) Mayor’s Office; HPD; DCP; DOT; DOHMH OneNYC is a symbol of the administration’s focus on creating a more equitable, inclusive New York. We believe you measure what you care about, and that to ensure people from all walks of life are prioritized across agencies, metrics that focus on urban justice, public life, and public space should be integrated into the city’s existing evaluation methods. The 11 urban justice values, 30 indicators and 74 metrics used in this study can be applied to evaluating the impact of projects large and small - from privately funded public realm improvements to citywide initiatives, such as Vision Zero and the Mayor’s affordable housing plan. In terms of the plazas, city agencies should work with local plaza managers to collect data that helps measure local success criteria and evaluate plazas.

Recommendations

95


Recommendations: Plaza Program 2. Provide more funding and operational support (Equity)

3. Align support for new and existing plazas with the Mayor’s affordable housing agenda (Access)

4. Identify how plazas can further reduce traffic crashes and support Vision Zero (Connectivity)

5. Leverage plaza support and creation with Building Healthy Communities initiatives (Health & Wellbeing)

6. Provide additional support to plaza managers to diversify programming & foster civic engagement (Inclusion/Belonging, Participation)

Mayor’s Office; DOT; OneNYC

Mayor’s Office; DOT; DCP; HPD

Mayor’s Office; DOT; Advocates

DOT; DOHMH; CAU, Mayor’s Office

Mayor’s Office; DOT; DCLA

The current plaza funding model does not perform the same across all communities. For plazas to reap the same benefits, certain local partners need long-term public support, especially those managing plazas located in under-resourced communities. The $5.6 million allocated to plazas in OneNYC is a great start to address differences in how the public-private partnership works in different neighborhoods, but to support all plazas in low income communities, more financial support is needed. An opportunity to apply for more maintenance funding could be created that is similar to the plaza application process.

Plazas increase open space in neighborhoods and create opportunities for people to meet and recognize new people. Plaza implementation can be aligned with OneNYC and citywide affordable housing goals, which may increase neighborhood density.

Those surveyed said the plazas improve perceptions and feeling of safety in the plaza area.

Survey responses revealed that the plazas led people to spend more time outside than they would have before the plaza’s creation. In some cases, the plazas were also used to support healthy activities, such as yoga and aerobics classes, or adjacent farmers markets.

Plazas create opportunities for people to recognize or meet new people, and to spend more time outside in their communities.

96

Overlay a map identifying affordable housing initiatives with maps showing a lack of open space and plaza opportunity sites. Prioritize plaza implementation and support for existing plazas in areas that will see increased residential density to ensure access to open, public space, and that lack access to transportation. An interagency task-force should be formed to implement this analysis. Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

This presents an opportunity to align plaza implementation with vision zero initiatives to calm traffic and improve safety. Conduct a study to identify how plazas actually might improve safety and help to reduce crash rates on adjacent and nearby streets. In turn, this could help identify locations that can advance support for Vision Zero goals.

To further support these healthy activities and behaviors, leverage plaza creation and programming with DOHMH’s building healthy community initiatives to reduce activity related illness rates, such as diabetes. Work with local community groups and residents to identify health related programming they are interested in and how the most healthvulnerable communities can be invited to spend time in the plazas.

Additional support could be provided in the form of a targeted needs assessment, which could help plaza managers be atuned to the evolving needs of the community and be more capable to respond to it, such as with events that further allow them to diversify programming and invite for a broader range of resident participation in the plazas.

Recommendations

97


Next Steps: Integrating Urban Justice and Public Life into Decision-Making Processes A tool that uses metrics tested by JMBC and Gehl could be used to better assess impact on urban justice and how to optimize municipal investment Movements seeking to achieve greater equity, sustainability, resiliency and livability are on the rise. Government agencies, design practitioners and philanthropists in particular are working to develop programs that address these aims, but also evaluate the impact of interventions. Our goal in creating a new framework of indicators and metrics was to push the envelop on the evaluation of design’s impact on urban justice and robust public life. We believe the values inherent in justice and public life are not always adequately acknowledged or examined by the existing sustainability and resiliency measurement frameworks. Often these frameworks focus on “the numbers” and not the first hand experiences of the user or beneficiaries of the designed space. The pilot indicator framework developed by the Gehl / JMBC partnership blends these two approaches to provide a more accurate story about how social and spatial dynamics inform urban justice and public life values.

98

During this project, the pilot framework was successful in the following ways: • Rooted the evaluation in a set of values rather than material outcomes; • Blended both experiential and quantifiable data through secondary, observational and intercept survey, and interview methods; and • Blended metrics that examined economic, health, civic, cultural, environmental, and design and wellbeing indicators. Challenges and areas where the tool and methodology could be further refined were also observed: • The data collection methods used such as intercept and observational surveys - require hundreds of hours of manpower to administer; • The data collection methods require a large sample size to make informed conclusions; • Some secondary data was unavailable and/or not available across multiple years to identify change over time; and • Going forward, JMBC would prefer that the values selected to frame the indicator framework be selected by

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

the city or community to best align its context to the urban justice conditions most critical to address. Despite this, governments and communities can benefit from having access to this indicator framework as a way to both be “diagnostic” - to benchmark and understand current conditions and performance of public space - as well as “projective” - to provide information that informs goals for future intervention.

We are also hopeful that the tool and findings from this kind of evaluation process can aid governments, designers and community change agents in developing design interventions and processes that embed the aspirations of greater urban justice into the outcomes of public space design.

At the local neighborhood level, the diagnostic data can leverage positive outcomes to secure additional funding, support from community partners, and promote greater use by community members. At the government level, the data can be helpful in demonstrating the impacts of quality of life investments to overall neighborhood improvement. The positive outcomes can be leveraged with municipal investments in the public realm, affordable housing and transit to secure new public/private partnerships that promote inclusive and equitable neighborhood growth. Recommendations

99


Appendix A Study Methods Project Metrics


Method: Intercept Surveys

English vs. Spanish Speakers

Why do people use or walk through the plaza? What’s their perception of the plaza and it’s impact on the neighborhood? Who uses the plaza, and when?

200

150

The data collected by the surveys was a jumping off point for understanding the social justice implications and parameters of New York City’s plazas.

100

The intercept survey tool enabled our team to collect first hand plaza user data on how the plaza performed in several areas of urban justice, public life, and design. Using 20 questions, the survey collects data on demographics, access, participation, ownership, inclusion/belonging, beauty, creative innovation, health, and wellness. Questions like “How has this plaza impacted your perception of safety in the neighborhood?” 102

The surveys also collected feedback on people’s reaction to the Just City values. On the front cover of the survey, respondents were asked to define one of the five Just City values: equity, inclusion/belonging, beauty, participation, and diversity. Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Spanish Spanish English

English

New Lots Triangle

Zion Triangle

Putnam Plaza

Corona Plaza

0 Diversity Plaza

Challenges included not being able to conduct surveys with people who did not speak English or Spanish, unless the surveyor was conversant in another language. Controls for surveyor bias were not implemented so randomization was limited to users who were willing to speak to the surveyors. Surveying of users under the age of 18 was also limited since it required a supervising adult to be present.

50

Meatpacking Plaza

Over the course of a weekday and weekend, intercept surveys were done at all seven plazas, simultaneous to the observational surveys. The survey questions, both multiple choice and free response, reflected one or an intersection of the Just City and public space, public life values.

Surveys were printed in English and Spanish. Surveyors tried to collect as many surveys as possible, either by filling out the form with someone or having them complete it independently.

Flatiron Plaza

delved into inclusion/ belonging and public life while questions like “Since the plaza opened, do you recognize or know more people in the neighborhood?” related to social connectivity, as well as public life.

103


Method: Intercept Surveys Sample survey sheet

Intercept surveys were conducted in English and Spanish, and a few in Hindi, at the seven plazas. 489 surveys were collected.

104

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

105


Method: Observational Public Life, Public Space Survey

unpleasant sensory experiences

crime & violence Great

fo r

ng ki g al din ng w i an ay st st & ng tti si eing g in ng se ar lki he ta & ion t & ay ea pl ecr r

Co m fo rt -

dimensioned at a human scale

Public Life

Somewhere in between Bad

in vit at io ns

aesthetic quality positive aspects of climate

The Public Space Public Life Survey is a unique observational field survey technique Gehl Architects developed to identify how to create or enliven public spaces. The survey quantifies how people use and interact with places in cities. It creates an opportunity for city leaders to include people oriented data in the planning and design process to make their needs visible and to consider how existing human behavior can inform strategies to make a place more livable, walkable and inviting to all.

106

As part of the survey, pedestrian count and stationary activity surveys are used to examine detailed information on where people walk and what they do when stationary. Using this technique, data collectors also assess the quality and condition of outdoor seating, the quality of paving materials, construction-related impacts and other qualitative factors that affect the public realm. Results from the survey help to formulate strategies for improving streets as public spaces, and can serve as a baseline against which future projects can be compared. Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

Observational surveys were done over two days, between 8am 8pm, in October 2014, on the same days as the intercept surveys. Surveyors worked in four hour shifts to collect data on movement and activity in and around the plazas. The surveyors help to provide a snapshot of public life over two typical days.

Indicators and metrics observed:

Protection against

Delight

How do people use their streets? What activities do people engage in? What barriers might inhibit walking or socializing in public?

vehicular traffic

Quality Criteria

Age · Children · Adults · Seniors Gender · Men · Women Movement · Pedestrians · Cyclists Public Space Activity · Stationary (sitting, standing) · Active (exercising, playing) Physical Conditions · Barriers to walking or cycling (i.e. obstacles on sidewalks) · Distribution of space (how wide are the sidewalks? The streets? Are there bus lanes or cycle tracks?) Quality of the Design: Protection, Comfort and Delight How is the space protected from traffic or noise; how comfortable is it in terms of being able to hear, talk and see; and how much opportunity for delight and joy exist? 107


Method: Desktop Research

Plaza Neighborhood Boundaries Meatpacking

How does what people share in intercept surveys and their observed behavior compare to local Census and demographic information?

Flatiron

• •

• Meatpacking

0

A plaza neighborhood was defined as the area within a half mile of the plaza (about a 10-minute walk) and what plaza managers expressed as the typical catchment area. Data was collected at the census tract level and neighborhood data was collected for census tracts within the halfmile radius around the plaza. Where it was not possible to collect data at the census tract level, data was collected at the community district or zip code level.

When sufficient information was not available new data was created using open source resources. This was the case when obtaining a more accurate analysis of open space in the neighborhood, such as to include public property owned by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, NYC Housing Authority, privatelyowned publicly-accessible parks and open space, waterfront parks, and community gardens.

A number of sources were used to collect data on demographics, residential 108

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

A sample of sources: • U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2009-2013, Five-year estimates; • U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2006-2010; • Five-year estimates, Special Tabulation for Census Transportation Planning; • NYC Department of City Planning 2014 Pluto Data; • NYU Furman Center, 2014 State of the City’s Housing & Neighborhoods; • New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2006 Community Health Report; and • NYC Department of Parks and Recreation 2015 Directory of Parks Properties as well as others.

Diversity

Corona

Putnam

0.5

Zion 1

Neighborhood Outlines Data was collected at the Census Tract level for Census Tracts with centroids within the half-mile buffer around the plaza also a 10-minute walk around the plaza.

New Lots

and worker population, land use and open space, political and community boundaries, police precincts, and community facilities.

• •

Zion

Corona

• Flatiron

New Lots

Desktop research was done to place the survey data into a plazaneighborhood, borough, and citywide context.

Diversity

••

Putnam 2

• Data was collected at the Census Tract level for Census Tracts with centroids within the half• around • • mile •buffer the plaza, also a 10-minute walk around the plaza and what plaza managers • identified as the typical catchment area. Miles

ARC GIS and Microsoft Excel were used to compare intercept and observational survey data with Census information and other neighborhood data sets. 109


Method: Interviews with Plaza Stakeholders

Stakeholder Interviews

How was the plaza started? What are the goals of the space? Who is involved with programming and maintaining the plaza?

Laura Hansen,

Daniel Murphy,

Emily Weidenhof,

Executive Director,

Pitkin Avenue

NYC Plaza Program

Neighborhood Plaza

Business Improve-

Director, Division

Partnership

ment District (Zion)

of Transportation

SEPTEMBER 2014 &

SEPTEMBER &

Planning & Manage-

APRIL 2015

APRIL 2015

ment // Public Space, NYC Department of

• A series of interviews were conducted with plaza stakeholders and managers to understand the plaza sites at the outset of the project and to obtain reactions to initial findings and gather additional information. Questions covered programming, operational budgets, funding sources, management structure, maintenance costs, staff makeup, civic participation, the surrounding neighborhood and businesses, security and safety, and rules and regulations. For the full set of questions, please refer to the associated section in the Appendices.

The interviews also brought insight into why and how these seven neighborhoods organized to reclaim street space, the challenges they faced in the process, and how the plazas and their associated management, have impacted other community issues, such as health, access, and ownership. Challenges Project staff were unable to coordinate meetings with Agha M. Saleh, Executive Director, SUKHI New York (Management Group for Diversity) and Eddie Di Benedetto, New Lots Avenue Triangle Merchants Association President (Management).

The interviews revealed the unique characteristics of the plaza’s physical and intangible environments. 110

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

• Interviews were conducted during the plaza study site selection phase, in September 2014, and in the spring of 2015 to share preliminary findings and gather additional information. The Neighborhood Plaza Partnership was an instrumental resource in setting up preliminary meetings with plaza managers.

Phillip Kellogg,

Transportation

Deputy Director,

Executive Director

SEPTEMBER & MAY

Queens Economic

and Victoria Bonds,

2015

Development Corpo-

Community Liai-

ration (Management

son, Fulton Area

for Corona)

Businesses Alliance

SEPTEMBER 2014 &

(Management for

APRIL 2015

Putnam) APRIL 2015

Ricardi Calixte,

Shekar Krishnan,

Jennifer Brown,

Friends of Diversity

Executive Director,

Plaza (Stewardship

Scott Kimmins, Di-

for Diversity)

rector of Operations,

APRIL 2015

and Julie Sophonpanich, Planning and

Lauren Danziger,

Marketing Manager,

Executive Director,

Flatiron 23rd Street

Meatpacking Im-

Partnership (Man-

provement Associ-

agement for Flatiron)

ation (Management

APRIL 2015

for Meatpacking) APRIL 2015 111


Project Values, Indicators & Metrics

CHOICE CHOICE

A. desIgn flexIBIlIty + AdAptABIlIty • quantIty of moveable furnIture + fIxed furnIture

EQUITY EQUITY

d. equItABle demogrAphIcs • users by race relatIve to neIghborhood + borough demographIcs for each

plaza

plaza

c. equItABle Access + use of humAn +

fundIng cApItAl

• • •

• • •

average number of programmed events per year % age of actIve versus passIve programmed events types of actIvItIes people are engaged In, how thIs varIes across the day, + on weekdays versus weekends

ACCESS

A. IndIvIduAl’s perceptIon of vAlue B. equItABle dIstrIButIon of open spAce • Increase In sq ft of open space, by the

% of space devoted to movable furnIture elements versus fIxed furnIture elements how does the overall sIze (total sf) + dImensIons contrIbute to or restrIct the types of actIvItIes that can be hosted on the plaza plaza protectectIon from the clImate

B. progrAm choIces: InformAl + formAl ActIvItIes

source of capItal funds, publIc vs. prIvate contrIbutIons capItal costs per average weekend/ weekday plaza user volumes average annual operatIons costs source of funds for operatIons

users by age relatIve to neIghborhood + borough demographIcs for each

ACCESS

A. AccessIBle desIgn • assessment of barrIers near access poInts, such as fences, gates, bollard, jersey barrIers, etc. • qualIty of plaza ada accessIblIty, IncludIng adequate curb cuts + pavIng

plaza

users by Income relatIve to neIghborhood + borough demographIcs for each plaza plaza management staff demographIcs mIrror or dIffer from neIghborhood

materIals

constructIon

d. Access + AdjAcency to other lAnd uses • types of adjacent land uses

B. user AccessIBIlIty – numBer of people who hAve convenIent Access

• •

demographIcs

e. equItABle desIgn • equItable dIstrIbutIon of desIgn

c. pedestrIAn AccessIBIlIty • adjacent vehIcular traffIc volumes • change In pedestrIan InjurIes + cyclIst InjurIes before + after plaza

number of resIdents wIthIn a 10 mInute walk of the plaza number of workers wIthIn a 10 mInute walk of the plaza restrIctIons on hours

elements

112

Gehl GehlStudio Studio&&J.J.Max MaxBond BondCenter Center

113


CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY

A. trAnsportAtIon connectIvIty (IncludIng volumes of wAlkIng + BIkIng) • proxImIty to subway • proxImIty to bus • proxImIty to bIke lanes • proxImIty to publIc modes of transportatIon relatIve to user volumes for weekday + weekend + land use

• • • • •

how users get to the plaza walkIng volumes In the plaza bIkIng volumes In the plaza walkIng + bIkIng In the plaza by age walkIng + bIkIng In the plaza by

OWNERSHIP

B. InterpersonAl connectIvIty • socIal recognItIon of others by race • socIal recognItIon of others by age • socIal recognItIon of others by Income • socIal recognItIon of others by home zIp codes • socIal recognItIon of others by frequency of use • proxImIty to publIc modes of transportatIon relatIve to user volumes

gender

age + gender of people walkIng + bIkIng In the to the age + gender of people who lIve In the neIghborhood

OWNERSHIP

A. neIghBorhood ownershIp • rates of resIdentIal ownershIp • housIng tenure B. formAl plAzA ownershIp • plaza ownershIp and management structure

DIVERSITY

tenure

• •

plaza dIversIty by zIp code of orIgIn plaza dIversIty by housIng tenure In neIghborhood

dIversIty of people walkIng + bIkIng by age + gender c. desIgn dIversIty • dIversIty of plaza element furnIshIng + plantIng: dot versus non-dot elements

neIghborhood

c. InformAl plAzA ownershIp • users feelIng of ownershIp – “Is thIs plaza yours? by age • users feelIng of ownershIp – Is thIs plaza yours? by race • users feelIng of ownershIp – Is thIs plaza yours? by Income • users feelIng of ownershIp – Is thIs plaza yours? by housIng tenure In the

• • • •

neIghborhood

PARTICIPATION PARTICIPATION

A. IndIvIduAl’s perceptIon of vAlue B. user ActIvIty pArtIcIpAtIon • tIme spent In the plaza by age • tIme spent In the plaza by race • tIme spent In the plaza by Income • tIme spent In the plaza by zIp code of orIgIn

• • • •

frequency of use by age frequency of use by race frequency of use by Income vIsItor volumes on the weekend versus weekday

c. pArtIcIpAtIon In operAtIons • resIdents + busIness owners who partIcIpate In formal event programmIng

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

users feelIng of ownershIp – Is thIs plaza yours? by zIp code of orIgIn opportunItIes for resIdents + workers to shape decIsIons about plaza desIgn, programmIng and/or operatIons opportunItIes for resIdents + workers to volunteer In operatIons of the plaza sense of stewardshIp – would you pIck up trash? by age sense of stewardshIp – would you pIck up trash? by race sense of stewardshIp – would you pIck up trash? by zIp code of orIgIn sense of stewardshIp – would you pIck up trash? by housIng tenure In the

neIghborhood

114

% of management staff lIvIng In the

DIVERSITY A. IndIvIduAl’s perceptIon of vAlue B. demogrAphIc dIversIty • neIghborhood dIversIty by age, race, Income, gender, + tenure • plaza dIversIty by age, race, Income, +

resIdents + busIness owners who partIcIpate In management organIzatIon

resIdents + busIness owners who partIcIpate In volunteer efforts • number of communIty engagement efforts by management for resIdent Input + decIsIon makIng d. desIgn fAcIlItAtIng ActIve engAgement • densIty of use weekend vs. weekday • number of optIons for sIttIng • amount of people accommodated In space avaIlable for group actIvItIes • presence of sIgnage wIth rules about allowable actIvItIes • presence of multI-lIngual sIgnage e. rAte of vIsItors thAt stAy In plAzA -“stIckIness” • rates of actIvIty In plaza compared to pedestrIans walkIng through

115


INCLUSION + BELONGING INCLUSION + BELONGING

A. IndIvIduAl’s perceptIon of vAlue B. demogrAphIc InclusIon + BelongIng • plaza demographIcs compared to neIghborhood + borough demographIcs • user zIp code of orIgIn • presence of multI-lIngual sIgnage c. desIgn fAcIlItAtes InclusIon + BelongIng • presence of polIce • presence of gates, fences, + locks • lIghtIng levels – street lIghts + storefront IllumInatIon • posted rules that restrIct certaIn actIvItIes – In general + by age

d. InclusIon + BelongIng through puBlIc sAfety • safety - do you feel more safe In the neIghborhood? by age • safety - do you feel more safe In the neIghborhood? by race • safety - do you feel more safe In the neIghborhood? by gender • change In crIme rates before + after plaza InstallatIon

CREATIVE INNOVATION CREATIVE INNOVATION

A. ImpAct • desIgn - whIch physIcal features contrIbute most? sorted by age • desIgn - whIch physIcal features contrIbute most? by race • desIgn - whIch physIcal features contrIbute most? by Income • desIgn - whIch physIcal features contrIbute most? by housIng tenure In neIghborhood

• •

are there any thIngs you thInk are creatIve or InnovatIve about thIs plaza? Ideas for what else to see

BEAUTY

HEALTH + WELLNESS

BEAUTY

A. IndIvIduAl’s perceptIon vAlue B. desIgn feAtures • has the physIcal appearance of the neIghborhood changed, sorted by age • has the physIcal appearance of the neIghborhood changed sorted by

beautIfIcatIon, sorted by race

c. AppeArAnce • level of cleanlIness: low, medIum or

gender

• •

• •

hIgh

has the physIcal appearance of the neIghborhood changed sorted by race has the physIcal appearance of the neIghborhood changed sorted by

Income

has the physIcal appearance of the neIghborhood changed sorted by housIng tenure In the neIghborhood what desIgn features contrIbuted to beautIfIcatIon, sorted by age what desIgn features contrIbuted to

116

what desIgn features contrIbuted to beautIfIcatIon, sorted by housIng tenure In the neIghborhood

has the appearance of adjacent uses changed sInce the plaza opened – storefront Improvements, sIgnage, lIghtIng, other edge condItIons – storefronts, sIdewalks, street plantIngs, lIghtIng, buIldIng condItIon

Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

HEALTH +

WELLNESS A. tIme spent outdoors • how has thIs plaza Increased the tIme you spend In publIc space? by age • how has thIs plaza Increased the tIme you spend In publIc space? by race • how has thIs plaza Increased the tIme you spend In publIc space? by Income • how has thIs plaza Increased the tIme you spend In publIc space? by gender • tIme spent In plaza by age • tIme spent In plaza by race • tIme spent In plaza by Income • tIme spent In plaza by gender B. plAzA ActIvIty • # chIldren playIng • # adult physIcal actIvItIes

c. humAn heAlth • user reported health condItIons by race

user reported health condItIons by Income

• • •

neIghborhood obesIty rates neIghborhood asthma rates neIghborhood heart dIsease rates

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Gehl Studio & J. Max Bond Center

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Profile for Gehl - Making Cities for People

Public Life & Urban Justice in NYC's Plazas  

Public Life & Urban Justice in NYC's Plazas