New York based initiative utilizes public spaces for social connection

The design of New York City’s built environment has created an abundance of social isolation and crime over the years due to factors including inaccessible outdoor space, insufficient lighting and buildings being fenced off from surrounding communities. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) created the Connected Communities Initiative to leverage the reality of the city’s built environment for good by addressing the social isolation, safety and mental health of residents in these communities.

The initiative seeks to reconfigure and repurpose public spaces in and around public housing to increase accessibility, promote social equity and empower residents. Specific steps the initiative is taking include increasing green spaces, activating city streets and pathways, increasing access to public transportation and improving access to neighborhood resources. 

The Connected Communities Initiative demonstrates the value New York City is placing on the well-being of its residents. The plan serves as a blueprint for other U.S. cities by establishing the value of promoting connection and security through the repurposing of public spaces. 

Learn more about this program by visiting Newcities Foundation.

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