Toward a Sustainable NYC

As part of the 38th Annual Awards for Excellence in Design: Toward a Sustainable NYC event, the PDC highlighted 16 award-winning projects from the past five years that contribute to the strategic plan of New York City’s OneNYC 2050 and the global Sustainable Development Goals that were developed by the United Nations.

Faced with an unprecedented global pandemic, New York City agencies are stepping up to meet the current and future needs of New Yorkers. The 38th Annual Awards are dedicated to the City agency staff and the designers and artists who have been working diligently to design temporary spaces that provide safe public recreation and critical health services while also planning future designs that will enhance public spaces, better serve the public, and create a more resilient city.

"The pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests bring broader awareness and acknowledgment that longstanding social and environmental justice issues, including the design of the built environment, affect us all. We need to do more and better for our people, places, and the planet, whether that is creating moments of beauty, healing, and joy through public art and landscapes or designing for better housing and clean water. The projects highlighted this year show that our City agencies and a diverse group of designers, artists, builders, and stakeholders are working creatively and innovatively to make our city better."

Justin Garrett Moore, Executive Director, NYC Public Design Commission

Guest speakers at the event included Penny Abeywardena, International Affairs Commissioner for the NYC Mayor's Office of International Affairs, and Daniel Zarrilli, Chief Climate Policy Advisor and OneNYC Director for the NYC Mayor's Office of Climate Policy & Programs, as well as NYC Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation Commissioner Mitchel Silver, NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, NYC Department of Design & Construction Commissioner Lorraine Grillo, and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Vincent Sapienza.

"Covid-19 has unraveled the way we live, learn and work and critically amplified how our most vulnerable communities were disproportionally affected by the pandemic. As we strive to build back better, we are using all the tools at our disposal and that must include people-centered, environmentally-sustainable design. We are so proud to have supported the Public Design team in this incredible work to integrate the Global Goals. With OneNYC and the Sustainable Development Goals as our framework and these awarding-winning projects as our inspiration, a fairer, more resilient future is well within reach."

Penny Abeywardena, International Affairs Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office of International Affairs

"As we face down a looming climate crisis amid a void of federal leadership, cities all across the globe are stepping up to take action and advance climate solutions. OneNYC 2050, New York City’s long-term plan, is demonstrating to the world what a Green New Deal looks like in practice and leading the way toward a more resilient and inclusive future. The sustainable design projects we’re recognizing today prove that we can accelerate a green recovery, achieve justice for our communities on the front lines of our climate crisis, and ensure a livable future for the next generation. "

Daniel Zarrilli, Chief Climate Policy Advisor and OneNYC Director, NYC Office of the Mayor Climate Policy and Programs