Nur Asri, Urban Policy Fellow

Isaac Gertman, Communications Fellow

Alexandra Gonzalez, Design Fellow

Valeria Mogilevich, Engagement Fellow

Catherine Betances, Equitable Public Space Fellow

Elana Ehrenberg, Senior Policy Manager

Jasmin Tepale, Equitable Public Space Fellow


The Design Trust for Public Space would like to thank our Advisory Committee members and Community Collaborators that provided expert input throughout the process. Meet the team here.


This report was made possible by generous funding from:

NYC Department of Small Business Services Strategic Impact Grant 

The National Endowment for the Arts

M&T Bank

Grand Central Partnership

Alloy Development

Downtown Alliance

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership


Over the past few years, New York City’s public spaces have taken on new meaning, becoming lifelines for businesses and necessary escapes for neighbors. Design Trust for Public Space partnered with the New York City Department of Small Business Services on Neighborhood Commons: Plazas, Sidewalks & Beyond to look into how public spaces in commercial corridors are managed and programmed to support this multitude of uses. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated, more than ever before, the unique and key role that small businesses play in the livelihood of our neighborhoods and public spaces. With the crisis hitting commercial corridors and main streets hard, Neighborhood Commons is a timely initiative that will provide small businesses and place-based organizations with tools and strategies to recover as community anchors that support our main streets.

At a time when so many regulations were changing by the day, this was an opportunity to explore these challenges, to think outside of the box, and to recommend ways we can improve the current model of public space governance and lower barriers to participation in our public realm.

Where To Buy

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Associated Press

Neighborhood Commons Releases New Toolkit of Recommendations to Support Public Spaces in Commercial Corridors