NYC Plaza Program

NYC DOT works with selected organizations to create neighborhood plazas throughout the City to transform underused streets into vibrant, social public spaces. The NYC Plaza Program is a key part of the City's effort to ensure that all New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk of quality open space.

Eligible organizations can propose new plaza sites for their neighborhoods through a competitive application process. NYC DOT prioritizes sites that are in neighborhoods that lack open space, and partners with community groups that commit to operate, maintain, and manage these spaces so they are vibrant pedestrian plazas.

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Three separate images show the three different kinds of public plazas. 1. A One Day Plaza shows people enjoying a section of the street closed to traffic with green barriers and furnished with tables, chairs and umbrellas. 2. An Interim Plaza with tables, chairs, umbrellas and large planters. 3. A Permanent Plaza built with concrete elements and a large tree in the center.


The 2024 NYC Plaza Program application is now closed. The 2025 application will open on April 1, 2025.


Applicants must demonstrate local support for the proposed plaza by providing at least eight letters of support from community stakeholders, including but not limited to adjacent properties/businesses, nearby institutions (such as churches or schools), elected officials, other not-for-profit groups, neighborhood or block associations, and neighborhood residents.

NYC DOT’s Public Space Equity Program (PSEP) addresses the needs of public spaces in under-resourced neighborhoods where community-based partner organizations need support in maintaining a high-quality public space. To achieve the goal of equitable public space throughout the City, PSEP provides operational and maintenance services, horticultural care, financial subsides, programming, and a host of technical assistance tools to public space partner organizations citywide.


The NYC Plaza Program is open to all organizations in any area of the City.

Applicants must be:

  • Organizations operating in New York City
  • Incorporated in New York State and compliant with annual State and Federal filing requirements
  • Located near or have a mission that serves or relates to the geographical target area of the proposed plaza

Application Review & Evaluation

Applications are reviewed and evaluated according to the City's strategic goals as presented in PlaNYC, the NYC DOT Streets Plan, and site-specific criteria, including:

  • Open space: whether or not the neighborhood has an insufficient amount of open space.
  • Income eligibility: applicants receive additional points for proposals located in neighborhoods that qualify as low- or moderate-income as designated by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development as eligible for Community Development Block Grants.
  • Community initiative: the extent to which the applicant develops and executes a community outreach plan, builds consensus for the site, and solidifies local stakeholder support.
  • Site context: the proposed site's appropriateness to the adjacent land uses, population density, proximity to transit, safety, and other nearby open space.
  • Organizational and maintenance capacity: the extent to which the applicant is willing and able to program activities, maintain, operate and manage the plaza once it is built.

Posting of Notices and Signs on Pedestrian Plazas

When using pedestrian plazas, you must comply with all plaza rules, including NYC DOT Traffic Rules § 4-16(d)(1):

(1) Posting of notices and signs.

(i) No person shall post, display, affix, construct or carry any placard, flag, banner, sign or model in or on any pedestrian plaza or display any such item by means of aircraft, kite, or other aerial device in, on, or above the surface of any pedestrian plaza for any purpose whatsoever, without permission from the Department. Each separate item placed in violation of this paragraph shall constitute a separate violation.

(ii) Notwithstanding subparagraph (i) above, any person may carry any item described in subparagraph (i) above, without the aid of any aircraft, kite, or other aerial device, where the space on which the message of such item is contained has a height no greater than two feet and a length no longer than three feet, and that such item takes up a total area of no more than six square feet.

(iii) Any person who posts or displays a sign in, on, or above the surface of any pedestrian plaza, shall be responsible for removal of such sign. Failure to remove any sign that is posted or displayed in, on, or above the surface of any pedestrian plaza or that remains on such property shall constitute a violation of these rules.

(iv) In the event that a notice or sign, in violation of paragraph (i) above, is posted or displayed in, on, or above the surface of any pedestrian plaza, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that any person whose name, telephone number, or other identifying information appears on such notice or sign has violated paragraph (i) by either: (A) Pasting, posting, painting , printing or nailing such notice or sign, or (B) Directing or permitting a servant, agent, employee or other individual under such person’s control to engage in such activity; provided, however, that such rebuttable presumption shall not apply with respect to criminal prosecutions brought pursuant to this subparagraph (iv).

If you would like to display a sign in a pedestrian plaza that does not comply with NYC DOT Traffic Rules § 4-16(d)(1) (e.g., a sign larger than 3’x2’ and 6 square feet), send an email including the following information to at least seven days before you would like to display the sign.

Your request should include:

  1. Subject line should read, “Sign Request”
  2. The location where the sign will be displayed (i.e., the pedestrian plaza, specifying the approximate portion(s) of the plaza);
  3. The dimensions of the sign;
  4. The material the sign will be made of;
  5. The manner in which the sign will be displayed;
  6. The duration the sign will be displayed;
  7. Contact information where the response can be sent.

NYC DOT will evaluate your request and will let you know if it can be accommodated or if it needs to be modified to ensure safety and pedestrian flow in the plaza.