Together we make New York City public for all
Unlocking the potential of NYC's public spaces
We saved the High Line from demolition.
Learn about ways to work with us on a project.
Whether it is reimagining spaces under the city’s elevated infrastructure, working with public housing residents to activate space in their developments or thinking about how arts and culture can further enhance the city’s existing public spaces, the Design Trust’s efforts continue to transform often underutilized spaces into great public spaces for all New Yorkers.
December 11, 2018
Andrea Woodner–a sculptor trained as an architect and a native New Yorker–has a vision for an organization that can transform the life of the city by connecting city agencies with the burgeoning design community. She names it "Design Trust for Public Space" to reflect the mission of bringing design expertise and design thinking to the public realm.
The Design Trust's inaugural project – conducted in partnership with the NYC Department of Design & Construction and Brooklyn Public Library – focused on bringing design excellence to each and every branch of the Brooklyn Public Library system.
Eight years before PlaNYC, the Design Trust produces a set of high performance guidelines to make city buildings more energy-efficient and environmentally-responsible.
The South Jamaica Branch Library was the first building designed and constructed using the Design Trust's High Performance Building Guidelines.
The High Line is a derelict piece of urban infrastructure scheduled for demolition. Our feasibility study leads to the City's decision to preserve and transform the elevated railway into public open space.
The winners of the first Photo Urbanism fellowship are the photography team of Cook+Jenshel, who focus on documenting the city's waterfront.
Ten months after we released our feasibility study for the High Line, Mayor Bloomberg's administration requests a Certificate of Interim Use to railbank the High Line, effectively rescinding the outstanding demolition order.
As a result of our Diego Beekman project, tenants take ownership of 38 buildings in the South Bronx, billed as "the largest tenant takeover of a federal housing project in the country."
Problems & Possibilities outlines practical
solutions to the chaotic conditions and traffic congestion plaguing Times
Square, spurring a radical transformation of the “Crossroads of the World.”
Our High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines led to the City of New York establishing its commitment to green building practices by passing one of the country's first green building laws, Local Law 86 (LL86).
Garnering over 100,000 visitors in just 12 days, the Taxi 07 exhibit demonstrates to the world that it’s time to bring design innovation to New York City’s taxi fleet.
With an intimate talk between writers Malcolm Gladwell and Adam Gopnick at the Museum of Modern Art, the Design Trust launches the Design Trust Council, a new leadership circle.
A new program of pop-up dinner parties in public space is born with the first "Public Space Potluck" in the center of Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn.
With our Made in Midtown study, we succeed in shifting the debate about the Garment District, resulting in the City's decision to put their plan to force garment production out of the District on hold.
Five Borough Farm: Seeding the Future of Urban Agriculture in New York City establishes the nation's first set of metrics to measure the benefits of urban agriculture and recommends ways to expand urban agriculture in NYC.
The first-ever list celebrating 100 national leaders and organizations working at the intersection of design and service includes the Design Trust at spot #13!
After two years of design and development, the first Taxi of Tomorrow vehicles hit the streets of NYC on October 31st, delighting passengers and drivers alike.
The Energetic City request for proposals attracts over 90 proposals to give life to the city by connecting people through innovative design informed by the needs and aspirations of community users.
The Design Trust issues the groundbreaking policy principles and research, Under the Elevated: Reclaiming Space, Connecting Communities, unleashing the tremendous potential of the millions of square feet below elevated transit infrastructure in NYC.
We received the Olmsted Medal from the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Design Trust, in partnership with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, issues Laying the Groundwork, the first comprehensive design guidelines for retail and other ground-floor uses in affordable housing developments.
Design Trust played a major role in building support for the Intro. 1109 Pedestrian Plaza Legislation. The new bill gives the NYC Department of Transportation the authority to manage and regulate pedestrian plazas throughout the city, without banning any category of activity.
We received the Frederic Schwartz Community Development Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York State.
We received the Corporate & Institutional Achievement Award of the 2017 National Design Awards from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.