Public Space Programming

NYC’s Public Space Programming initiative brings free activities to public spaces, such as plazas and Open Streets. This program connects public spaces citywide with local organizations that host activities. All activities are free and open to New Yorkers of all ages and abilities.

Programming brings arts, culture, fitness, and educational experiences to neighborhoods in need. These activities also promote the positive use of public space. This program is focused on supporting neighborhoods in NYC DOT Priority Investment and Public Space Priority Areas, as identified in the NYC Streets Plan.

To learn more about programming activities on Open Streets and other public spaces, please email

Cultural institutions and arts organizations may also apply to host an Open Street.

A colorful drag queen reads a story to children seated in a semi-circle on an Open Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Drag Queen Story Hour at 5th Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Public Space Programming Catalogue

Cover of the Public Space Programming Catalogue featuring a solo performer on a stage in front of an audience of adults and children.
Cover of the 2022/2023 Public Space Programming Catalogue

This catalogue includes a list of non-profit organizations available to provide programming in NYC DOT managed public spaces. All activities on the list are free of charge and suitable for New Yorkers of all ages and abilities.

Download the Public Space Programming Catalogue

Programming Events

NYC DOT teams up with several Programming Partners, City agencies, cultural organizations, and non-profit institutions to provide a wide variety of events to public spaces throughout the City!

Below is a list of some of the exciting events we produced in recent years.

Sign up for our Public Space newsletter to learn about upcoming events

Make Music New York – Plaza by Plaza

Two musicians play guitars and sing under a pop up tent in a plaza.
Make Music New York at Forsyth Plaza, Manhattan

NYC DOT partnered with Make Music New York to bring a full day of music to over 15 plazas across the city on June 21, 2022. All events were free and open to the public, and featured a wide variety of New York City based artists.

Flatbed Follies

Two people juggle brightly colored clubs on a flatbed stage in a plaza.
Flatbed Follies at Jennings Open Street, Bronx

The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus’ Flatbed Follies is an innovative travelling circus. They provided over 75 variety arts and amazing acts to neighborhoods throughout the city in 2022.

Public Space Pilots – Partnership with Street Lab

A pop up library on an Open Street is surrounded by yellow and white seating elements. Several passerby of varying ages stop to check out the books.
Street Lab’s pop up library at 5th Avenue Sunset Park, Brooklyn

In 2022, Street Lab partnered with NYC DOT and community groups to pilot new Open Streets, and other pedestrian public spaces in neighborhoods that lack these amenities. Street Lab's award-winning programming alongside a suite of other services helped get several new spaces off the ground.