The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) is proud to launch Round 10 of the NYC Plaza
Program (Plaza Program), an innovative, community-based program that creates new neighborhood plazas throughout New York City by transforming underused streets into vibrant, accessible public spaces and walkable destinations.
In April 2016, the New York City Council enacted a local law authorizing DOT to promulgate rules governing pedestrian plazas throughout the city. As a result, DOT issued rules that provide a regulatory framework for DOT’s pedestrian plazas. A “pedestrian plaza” is defined as an area designated by DOT for pedestrian circulation, use, and enjoyment on DOT property, including but not limited to property mapped as public place or property within the bed of the a roadway, and which may contain amenities such as tables, seating, trees, plants, lighting, bike racks or public art (herein after referred to as “plaza”). For more a complete copy of the plaza rules, please go to www.nyc.gov/plazas. As part of OneNYC’s vision, the Plaza Program aims to work with communities to enhance the public realm and provide all New Yorkers with quality open space.
Each year, DOT invites eligible organizations to apply to the Plaza Program and propose locations for new plazas. After reviewing and evaluating submitted applications, DOT selects appropriate plaza sites and works with the selected organizations (Partners) to establish an appropriate vision and program for each plaza.
By applying to the Plaza Program, each applicant is requesting: 1) to have City funds in their community in the form of a plaza; 2) to garner community support and participate in the design process; and 3) to manage, maintain, program, and operate the proposed plaza once construction is complete and an agreement is signed.
DOT may select one of the following types of plazas for an applicant to manage:
- One-Day Plaza – A single-day event where a proposed plaza is tested. DOT works with the local partner to define, program and document a potential plaza site. One-Day plazas serve as a way to garner local support for an interim or permanent plaza.
- Interim Materials Plaza – Using interim materials DOT will install and the Partner will manage, operate, and maintain a plaza on the proposed site. This option allows for the creation of a plaza ahead of a capital construction project.
- Permanent Materials Plaza – Following extensive community input and based on the availability of funds, the City, in cooperation with DOT and other agencies, will fund, design and build a permanent plaza which the Partner will manage, operate, and maintain.
Once a plaza site has been selected, DOT and the Partner will conduct a public process to develop a design that is appropriate to the scale and character of the neighborhood and responsive to the needs of the community. Projects do not move forward without support from the Community Board. Once plazas are built, Partners enter into an agreement with DOT and are responsible for the regular operation, maintenance, management, and programming of the plazas so they remain not only clean, safe, and attractive but also successful, active and well-used public spaces.