WXY and NY4P Continue Talk Series on Cities and Open Space

WXY – Astor Place – Photo Credit Wade Zimmerman

Better Design + Development = Better Open Space: Talk by New Yorkers for Parks, WXY architecture + urban design

For more welcoming neighborhoods, NY4P and WXY host a fresh dialogue on how to ensure city developments include well-designed open spaces and parks.

The group New Yorkers for Parks (NY4P) and design firm WXY architecture + urban design have announced the second in a four-part series of public discussions on improving New York City with more and better-designed parks and open spaces. The talk, to be held on Monday, December 11th, is titled “Open Space Dialogues: A New Perspective in Development + Design” and brings together the city’s leading parks researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers.

The December 11 event, which will take place 6:00pm at WeWork Bryant Park, 54 West 40th Street in New York City, is the second in a series of programs organized by New Yorkers for Parks (NY4P), a more than 100-year-old, citywide independent open space advocacy organization, along with WXY architecture + urban design, a leader in conceiving and designing new parks, open spaces and civic architecture.

“We’re convening elected officials and leaders in real estate, planning and transportation to have a candid and forward-looking conversation examining how open space fits in a rapidly growing and developing city,” says Lynn Kelly, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks. “With representatives from different backgrounds and perspectives at the same table, we can identify where they agree, where they don’t, and where we go from here.”

“Building on our first talk where we focused on the challenges of valuing all types of open spaces, we’re now seeking new perspectives on how open space is created and how the role of urban development and design could work together,” notes Claire Weisz, FAIA, a founder of WXY architecture + urban design and moderator for the talk. “By sharing recent work and responding to work by others, our panelists will take part in an exchange that can move the dialogue forward around how we support the benefits that come from open space.”

Among the key questions to be asked are:
• Why are development and open space often pitched as mutually exclusive?
• What makes open space matter to the business community?
• What’s the role of design in facilitating open space creation and preservation in cities that are densifying, like New York?

The talk features Urby president and CEO Dave Barry; Design Trust for Public Space executive director Susan Chin; Two Trees Management’s Bonnie Campbell; Wendy Feuer, assistant commissioner of urban design, art and wayfinding for the New York City Department of Transportation; Purnima Kapur, executive director of the New York City Department of City Planning; Josh Sirefman, chief development officer for Sidewalk Labs; and Brad Lander, a City Council Member in New York’s District 39.

About Open Space Dialogues: New Perspectives in Value, Design, and Delivery

With the goals of encouraging support for public open spaces and parks, including improvements to existing public amenities, NY4P and WXY have created the new talk series called “Open Space Dialogues: New Perspectives in Value, Design, and Delivery.” The panel discussions bring together leading parks researchers, decision makers, and practitioners from the public and private sector from New York City and beyond.

“New York City is always changing, and we need to guarantee that growth and development doesn’t come at the expense of the spaces that make our city healthy and vibrant,” said Lynn B. Kelly, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks. “New Yorkers for Parks created the Public Realm Bill of Rights for New York City based on what residents of all five boroughs told us they need from their open spaces. Now we’re finding out how we can ensure these rights are met even as the city expands and evolves, and that open space is considered up front in the planning process.”

The Open Space Dialogues series seek to find workable solutions to guarantee healthy, vibrant urban spaces for the 21st century. “The series is about revealing cutting-edge practice and having a dialogue about the current thinking on how to elevate open space as a cornerstone of the rezoning process,” said WXY architecture + urban design’s Weisz. She added that each panel will ask a unique and interrelated set of questions, building up to a unique body of knowledge.

The first event, which took place last month, focused on value, asking: Why is open space so valuable, and what emerging metrics or valuation tools can help prioritize open space in the redevelopment process? The remaining panels include:

– Panel 2: PLANNING + DESIGN – December 11, 2017 at WeWork Bryant Park
The second panel considers the role design plays in the redevelopment process and the creation of open space.

– Panel 3: DELIVERY – February 2018, location to be announced
A third talk in early 2018 will ask “How do we do it?” Panelists will discuss financial and policy mechanisms to improve the delivery of open spaces and parks for city neighborhoods.

– Panel 4: CASE STUDY –April, 2018, location to be announced.
The final talk asks, where do we go from here? Steps are considered for extending the knowledge-building process and making measurable impacts on New York neighborhoods currently undergoing rezoning.

The research-based group New Yorkers for Parks (NY4P) has been funded by the Rockefeller Foundation to lead the discussion series. NY4P is an over 100-year-old citywide advocacy organization championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods. NY4P’s signature research publications include the Open Space Index, City Council District Profiles, and the Report Card on Parks series, and the Civic Action Tracker. WXY architecture + urban design is an award-winning design practice specializing in the realization of architectural, urban design, and planning solutions, with a keen focus on the urban public realm. Recent projects by WXY include the redesign of Astor Place and the innovative, community based planning of the East Harlem neighborhood.

About New Yorkers for Parks

Founded in 1908, New Yorkers for Parks is the citywide independent champion of quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers. Through research, advocacy, and the Daffodil Project, NY4P works with communities and elected officials to create and preserve quality open space across the city.

About WXY architecture + urban design

WXY is an award-winning, studio-based multidisciplinary partnership based in New York City. Specializing in the public dimension of design, WXY’s planning, architectural and urban design work is celebrated for its innovative approach on behalf of public and private initiatives. WXY excels in complex urban challenges, education and civic buildings, parks and waterfront developments, and other projects ranging from furniture designs to regional plans. WXY’s integrated design process involves clients and stakeholders, yielding valuable solutions both large and small. Learn more at www.wxystudio.com