The way to make a building come alive is to activate its ground floor - the place where it makes contact with community life.
Starting with Sidewalks is the Key to Creating the Social Life We Want
A bench is not just a bench. What happens around it makes it catalytic. This seemingly simple amenity can grow to become a key for transforming not just a corner but an entire community.
There is no bigger opportunity than creating an intersection that connects rather than divides. Connecting people to businesses and to each other helps everyone – social life, community, the local economy.
A vision for a dynamic “Green Zone” connecting Central Park, Bryant Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Center and two clusters of performing arts institutions, Lincoln Center and Broadway, along with Radio City Music Hall and the Museum of Modern Art.
Starting in the 1970’s and 1980’s, we used New York City to test strategies for reversing the acute degradation of the public environment that followed the city’s fiscal crisis. Most of the demonstration projects we undertook were adopted as dominant practice.
In an era where social isolation underlies so many of our society challenges, a simple bench to draw us outside our private lives enabling us to connect may be the perfect antidote.