On December 9, 2022, the New York City Public Design Commision (PDC) released “Designing New York: Streetscapes for Wellness” a landmark study of how innovative public realm initiatives focused on wellness can inform and inspire the future of New York City’s streetscapes.
Designing New York: Streetscapes for Wellness is a collaboration of the New York City Public Design Commission, The Fine Arts Federation of New York, the New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the New York City Department of City Planning’s Urban Design Office, a broad interagency working group, and many contributors who are involved in the planning, design, maintenance, and programming of streets.
Streetscapes have proven to be a critical player in the wellbeing and quality of life of the neighborhoods they inhabit and connect. At a moment when the public realm is being significantly altered to address issues of public health and security, social, racial, and climate justice, Streetscapes for Wellness explores how innovative public realm initiatives focused on wellness can inform and inspire the future of New York City’s streetscapes.
Streetscapes for Wellness includes approximately 30 case studies from New York City and a handful of other communities to suggest ways of reimagining public spaces to further social and environmental justice while enhancing public health. An analysis of community health data, provided by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, underscores the importance of designing and building high-quality public spaces to address inequities across New York City.
This publication serves both as a point of reference and a source of inspiration, and it demonstrates that considering wellness should inform how we plan, design, maintain, and program our public realm for years to come.
Download the publication here.
“Well-designed public space is a critical part of improving our collective physical, mental, and emotional health. As the city continues to recover strongly, our administration is planning a city that is more resilient, not only to climate change but also to future public health challenges — and equity must be, and is, at the heart of that work. Every New Yorker, regardless of neighborhood or identity, deserves access to high-quality open spaces, and that’s what our administration is working to deliver.”
—New York City Mayor Eric Adams