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.

The Restorative City opens today! The first step to applying is to submit a very short statement of interest below due by Friday May 28, 2021 (deadline extended) 

Download the RFP in Español

Download the RFP in 中国人

Interested in learning more? Join the Design Trust staff and social strategist Claudie Mabry for a virtual workshop about the Design Trust, the RFP, and a look into the theme of health equity. This a chance to develop and hone project ideas and ask questions about how to submit your statement of interest. Workshop dates are:

  • Monday, May 3rd at 6pm - at capacity!
  • Friday, May 7th at 4pm
  • Friday, May 14th at 1pm
Missed the workshops? You can watch a recording here.

The Restorative City RFP:

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Past Project RFPs

Public for All: Rethinking Shared Space in NYC

2017

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

The Energetic City

2014

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 AuthorityThe New York City Department of Housing, Preservation & DevelopmentQueens Museum and the New York City Department of Parks & RecreationStaten Island Arts

Selected Projects: Laying the Groundwork, The World's Park, Future Culture, Opening the Edge

2009 RFP

2009

Selection Jury: Hugo Barreca, Deborah Berke, Jim Biber, Victor Body-Lawson, Tessa Huxley, Eric Rothman

Selected Projects: Five Borough Farm; Made in Midtown

2007 RFP

2007

Selection Jury: John Alschuler, Laurie Kerr, William Menking, Sylvia Smith, Claire Weisz

Selected Projects: Park Design for the 21st Century; Reinventing Grand Army Plaza

2004 RFP

2004

Selection Jury: Vishaan Chakrabarti, Candace Damon, Kitty Hawks, Tom Jost, Andy Stone

Selected Project: Sustainable New York City

2002 RFP

2002

Selection Jury: Alison Bauer, Ken Greenberg, Maxine Griffith, Peter Rothschild, Marilyn Taylor

Selected Projects: Greening Infrastructure in the Right-of-Way; Long Island City: Connecting the Arts 

2000 RFP

2000

Selection Jury: Robert Fox, Maxine Griffith, Yael Melamede, Mark Robbins, Kevin Wolfe

Selected Projects: Reclaiming the High Line; Thresholds of Eib's Pond

1999 RFP

1999

Selection Jury: Deborah Berke, Maxine Griffith, Signe Nielsen

Selected Projects: Implementing the High Performance Building Guidelines; Housing and Open Space

1998 RFP

1998

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 

1996 RFP

1996

Selection Jury: Max Bond, Mary Griffin, Raquel Ramati, Marilyn Taylor, Claire Weisz

Selected Projects: Designing for ChildrenDesigning for SecurityDiego Beekman Houses Design Workshop

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