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Statement from the Design Trust for Public Space’s Executive Director Matthew Clarke


New York, NY, — Yesterday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul released "'New’ New York: Making New York Work for Everyone," a set of 40 proposals intended to “make New York City the best place to work and serve as a roadmap for the city's future.” The New New York panel was launched in May 2022 to generate recommendations for the city and state.

Among those recommendations are an increased investment in public realm management, including expanding open streets, supporting arts and culture, activating commercial corridors, and creating a new City Hall position, Director of the Public Realm.

Design Trust for Public Space Executive Director Matthew Clarke issued the following statement in response:

“The future of New York City depends on a new vision for the city’s public space,” said Clarke. “Public space advocates applaud the Mayor and the Governor for prioritizing policies aimed at creating a more healthy and livable city. During the pandemic, we have seen firsthand how public space supports local economies and drives cultural opportunities.”

“Over the past two years, the Design Trust has worked with hundreds of organizations, from small place-based advocates to large Business Improvement Districts on public space projects that reimagine New York’s landscape and demonstrate how overdue this action plan is. Our Neighborhood Commons report identified ways to remove barriers to access and activate public spaces, supporting businesses along commercial corridors. Turnout NYC created a transformational model leveraging public spaces as accessible venues for programming arts and culture with new traveling outdoor stages. Our Alfresco NYC coalition designed guidelines for a sustainable and equitable future to continue the overwhelmingly positive benefits of outdoor dining and open streets.”

“We know firsthand that these programs work and make the city better for all. This is an important step to ensuring a more equitable public realm, but the City and State must stay committed to social justice and ensuring economic stability for our most vulnerable communities.

“The Design Trust is looking forward to working with the New New York Panel to support the successful execution of these recommendations and build a New York that works for all of us.”

Press Contact: Alexa Mauzy-Lewis, Design Trust for Public Space Communications Manager, amauzy@designtrust.org


The Design Trust for Public Space is a nationally recognized incubator that catalyzes change and transforms New York City’s shared civic spaces—streets, plazas, parks, public buildings, transportation, and housing developments—to create a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable city. Established in 1995 by Andrea Woodner, the nonprofit brings design expertise and systems thinking to the public realm to make a lasting impact. Founded on the tenet that New York City’s cultural and democratic life depends on viable public space, the Design Trust focuses on social justice and equity, environmental sustainability, design excellence, and public engagement. Its innovative model brings together government agencies, community groups, and private-sector experts, utilizing cross-sector partnerships to deliver creative solutions that shape the city’s landscape.