Times Square Alliance

Times Square Alliance

Times Square Alliance

Image source : https://www.timessquarenyc.org/

Country United State
City New York City
Name Time Square Alliance
Date 1992
Description of the project Times Square used to be gridlocked with yellow cabs and black S.U.V.s., it had no square — even though, for decades, pedestrians vastly outnumbered motorists passing through the area: 90 percent of the users were being squished into just over 10 percent of the area. This was also the case for cyclists who since the early 90s chose this same very spot in Times Square to raise their bikes over their heads and claim for safer bike infrastructure – bike lanes, bridge access and green infrastructure that most cities around the world already were enjoying.
Eventually, after much persistence, a big portion of Times Square is now an auto-free zone. The pedestrianization of Times Square was the flagship to get many of the city’s parks and plazas in far better shape than they were before, but reclaiming space alone is not sufficient to create the sort of vibrant public plaza we’d all like. That requires real stewardship. Civic culture needs cultivating and curating. Unless we do so, public space can become a public nuisance.
The Times Square Alliance was founded in 1992, it works to promote the creativity, energy, and edge that have made the area an icon of entertainment, culture and urban life. In addition to providing core neighborhood services with its Public Safety Officers and Sanitation Associates, the Alliance promotes local businesses; encourages economic development and public improvements; co-coordinates numerous major events in Times Square (including the annual New Year’s Eve and Solstice in Times Square celebrations); and advocates on behalf of its constituents with respect to a host of public policy, planning and quality-of-life issues. The Alliance is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, accepts tax-deductible contributions, and is governed by a large, voluntary Board of Directors.
The Alliance’s public space programs are aimed at improving the street level experience, reducing pedestrian congestion, encouraging high-quality private-sector design, and exhibiting exciting temporary public art – reinforcing Times Square’s status as the Crossroads of the World.
Urban Co-Governance Moderate
Enabling State Moderate
Pooling Strong
Experimentalism Moderate
Tech Justice Moderate
Project Website Times Square NYC : https://www.timessquarenyc.org/
References, sources, contact person(s) Times Square NYC : https://www.timessquarenyc.org/

Contact : Info@TimesSquareNYC.org

times square

Umbrella House

Umbrella House

Country United States
City New york
Name Umbrella House
Date 1988
Description of the project Umbrella House has come a long way from the late 1980s when a handful of squatters broke into what was then an abandoned city-owned tenement house and claimed it as their home. It was given such name by their residents who imagined it might function as a central hub for housing activists.

The building is now operated as a limited equity co-op and in accordance with Housing Development Fund Corporation rules, residents said. An agreement with the city specifies that buyers can earn no more than 120 percent of the median area income.

The building’s newest undertaking: an 820-square-foot vegetable garden tended by volunteers, which provides fresh produce and herbs for the 32 or so inhabitants of the 18 apartments, as well as a respite from some of the rigors of city life.

During the 1970s housing crisis, activists, punks, hippies, street kids and other homeless individuals took over and reclaimed derelict buildings on the Lower East Side through mass homesteading and squatting movements.

At the peak of these movements in the late 1980s, over 30 squats existed in the Lower East Side, providing homes for nearly a thousand people. The City has since granted many of these older squats limited-equity co-op status. Community members transformed buildings from a derelict state into livable.

Urban Co-Governance Moderate
Enabling State Weak
Pooling Moderate
Experimentalism Moderate
Tech Justice Weak
Project Website http://www.umbrellahouse.nyc/
References, sources, contact person(s) https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/19/realestate/umbrella-house-east-village-co-op-run-by-former-squatters.html

http://www.morusnyc.org/reclaiming-space-squats/

Contact : info@umbrellahouse.nyc

Loisaida center – Street Festival

Loisaida center – Street Festival

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Image source : http://loisaida.org/ Logo source : https://www.facebook.com/LoisaidaFest
Country United State
City New York City (Lower East Side)
Name Loisada Center – Street Festival
Date 1979
Description of the project Founded in 1979, the Loisaida Center is the oldest Puerto Rican nonprofit organization in the Lower East Side. Since then, its mission has been to address the “social and economic disenfranchisement of poor, low-income, and working class residents of the Lower East Side.” Every year, the Loisaida Center hosts the Loisaida Festival, which attracts over 18,000 visitors. The Festival celebrates Puerto Rican and Latino culture through music, food, and the arts. It began as an event for the community and has now grown to attract visitors from all over the city. It also serves as a platform to disseminate critical information regarding education, health, or other public interest information to the neighborhood.

Since 1987, the Loisaida Festival has been celebrated on the Sunday before Memorial Day. This is the largest ethnic community pride festival in the Lower East Side and grows annually in impact, attracting between 15,000-25,000 people each year.

Urban Co-Governance Moderate
Enabling State Moderate
Pooling Moderate
Experimentalism Weak
Tech Justice Weak
Project Website http://loisaida.org/loisaida-festival/
References, sources, contact person(s) http://www.loisaidafest.org/home/overview/

Social center Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/TheLoisaidaCenter

Festival Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/LoisaidaFest

Contact : info@loisaida.org for the social center, and for the festival festival@loisaida.org

New York City

El Bohio/CHARAS – A Contested Community Center

El Bohio/CHARAS – A Contested Community Center

Image source: https://www.villagepreservation.org/2021/05/06/celebrating-chino-garcia-co-founder-of-charas-el-bohio/
Country United States
City New York (Lower East Side)
Name El Bohio/CHARAS – A Contested Community Center
Date 1977
Description of the project The building of the former Public School 64 was made into a community center, known as El Bohio/CHARAS, beginning in 1977, led by the community organizations Adopt-a-Building and CHARAS. The grass-roots transformation of the unoccupied building was part of the Lower East Side’s reclaiming and revitalization by community members. El Bohio became a thriving space for arts, culture, fitness, and youth activities. In the words of the website Place Matters, “[El Bohio’s] special significance is in its identity as a public building, dedicated to the revival of community and of cultural survival.”
El Bohio/CHARAS is currently fenced off and not used as a community center; its status is actively contested. It was auctioned off my Mayor Giuliani to a developer 16 years ago, and has been the focus of activism to return it to community use.
Urban Co-Governance Moderate
Enabling State Moderate
Pooling Moderate
Experimentalism Weak
Tech Justice Moderate
Project Website
References, sources, contact person(s) Read more about the struggle to return El Bohio / CHARAS to community members at the links below: http://www.sohojournal.com/content/Save-Landmarked-former-PS-64CHARAS-El-Bohio,

https://www.villagepreservation.org/2021/05/06/celebrating-chino-garcia-co-founder-of-charas-el-bohio/ 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/nyregion/fight-over-charas-community-center.html 

605 East 9th Street, New York, NY

9th Street Community Garden Park

9th Street Community Garden Park

Image source : https://garden9c.org/
Country United State
City New York
Name The9th Street Community Graden Park
Date 1979
Description of the project The 9th Street Community Garden Park rests atop the basements of five buildings that fell down, formerly occupying the space. Along with the wave of abandoned buildings, property disinvestment, and the economic downturn that came through the Lower East Side (and New York City more widely) beginning in the 1970s, there was a mobilization in the Lower East Side to take back the buildings and grounds as squats and gardens.

Rainwater is captured through a series of drains and bins. Composting also takes place, producing soil for the garden’s plots. The city has studied and recognized both the composting techniques and the rainwater capture when looking to spread techniques to other parts of the city.

Urban Co-Governance Weak
Enabling State Strong
Pooling Moderate
Experimentalism Weak
Tech Justice Weak
Project Website https://garden9c.org/
References, sources, contact person(s) 9th Street Community Garden NYC | Loving And Serving The Lower East Side (garden9c.org)

Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/9thstreetcommunitygardenpark

Northeast corner of East 9th Street & Ave C
(212)788-8070