Today, New York City Council voted yes on passing historic legislation to create a permanent outdoor dining program for restaurants that will support small businesses, thousands of jobs, lovers of alfresco dining, and the communities they serve.

Advocates for the bill have been urging lawmakers to continue the positive impact outdoor dining has had on New York City streets and local economies. Now, The NYC Department of Transportation is set to begin a public review process to develop and finalize design standards for participating businesses. Design Trust for Public Space Executive Director Matthew Clarke issued the following statement in response:

“New Yorkers applaud the City Council for celebrating outdoor dining culture and prioritizing community use of sidewalks. Beyond supporting local restaurants and small businesses, the outdoor dining program has shown the vast potential of public space and how we can better utilize our curbs for community use. 

“The passing of a permanent program paves the way for the City to develop comprehensive rules to remedy concerns with the emergency program and develop long-term design guidelines. With the Alfresco NYC coalition, we look forward to working with the City to use design excellence to create an Open Restaurants program that centers the needs of all New Yorkers. Thank you to the Mayor’s Chief Public Realm Office Ya-Ting Liu, City Council, and the entire administration for getting this done.”

Outdoor dining advocates are available for further comment. Please contact Alexa Mauzy-Lewis ( to coordinate an interview. 


About the Alfresco NYC Coalition 

Design Trust for Public Space, Regional Plan Association, and Tri-State Transportation Campaign are working together to ensure that Open Restaurants and Open Streets programs are accessible to all New Yorkers, beneficial for the local communities, and sustainable in the long term. Our groups are celebrating street life in New York City, providing information to businesses and community groups, and working to equitably expand these programs to more neighborhoods. Visit to learn more.