The Design Trust for Public Space unlocks the potential of New York City’s shared, civic spaces through the advancement of new research and collaborative projects aimed to improve the well-being of residents throughout the city. Central to our mission and program is our request for proposals (RFP), which solicits ideas to realize projects that address a key public space concern in New York City. Organized around a central theme, each RFP cycle is grounded by extensive community outreach and engagement, ensuring an alignment with community needs and interests. Final proposals are implemented with the guidance and support of the Design Trust alongside a range of partners, including city agencies, stakeholder groups, and private sector experts. Over the course of its 25-year history, the Design Trust has completed 32 projects across the five boroughs, impacting thousands of New Yorkers.
This cycle, the Design Trust RFP—The Restorative City—is dedicated to exploring how public space and the built environment can be used as a tool to advance health equity, a concept which means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Using our unique problem-seeking, and power-sharing model of project delivery, The Restorative City will support projects that seek to influence public policy, design practice, or development decisions and bring about powerful, city-wide changes and address the following key goals:.
Demonstrate the impact of the built environment and design on public health
Elevate health equity as a priority for public policy and design
Empower communities, especially those that have been historically disenfranchised by public policy, to become active participants in this process
We invite New York City community groups, non-profits, design firms, advocates, activists, public agencies, and individuals across the five boroughs to submit proposals for research, design, and planning projects to unlock the potential of NYC’s shared spaces in ways that can improve health outcomes for everyone, but especially for communities who have been historically marginalized or under resourced.
Projects may be site-specific but must have the potential to change the way we develop and manage public space citywide and or influence the way we practice design. An independent jury will choose between two to four proposals to become Design Trust projects.
Selection Jury: Kitty Hawks, Kitty Hawks Interiors, Design Trust Founder’s Circle; Walter Hood, Hood Design Studio; Patti S. Lubin, Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; Kerry A. McLean, Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation; Zack McKown, Tsao & McKown Architects, Design Trust Board [non-voting]; Justin Garrett Moore, NYC Public Design Commission; José Serrano-McClain, NYC Mayor’s Office of Tech + Innovation; Claire Weisz, WXY Architecture + Urban Design, Design Trust Founder’s Circle; and Andrea Woodner, Design Trust Founder and President Emeritus.
Selected Projects: Building community wealth and well-being in Mott Haven-Port Morris; When the Going Gets Tough…Addressing Equity & Quality of Life in Community-Managed Public Spaces which became Neighborhood Commons
Selection Jury: Theodore S. Berger (non-voting), Paul Herzan, Kemi Ilesanmi, Natalie Jeremijenko, Jeff Merritt, Damon Rich and Tim Tompkins (non-voting)
Selected Partners: Jane Greengold with the support of New York City Housing Authority, The New York City Department of Housing, Preservation & Development, Queens Museum and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, Staten Island Arts
Selection Jury: Vishaan Chakrabarti, Candace Damon, Kitty Hawks, Tom Jost, Andy Stone
Selected Project: Sustainable New York City
Selection Jury: Deborah Berke, Maxine Griffith, Signe Nielsen
Selected Projects: Implementing the High Performance Building Guidelines; Housing and Open Space
Selection Jury: DD Allen, Deborah Berke, David Childs, Louise Harpman, Lionel McIntyre, Daniel Rose
Selected Projects: High Performance Building Guidelines; Mapping Early African American Settlements; Intermodal Transfer Improvement Project