Press Releases

For Immediate Release
September 16, 2021

Melissa Grace, Joe Marvilli – (212) 720-3471

DCP Seeks Public Input for Urban Design Resource Being Created for and with Communities

New website offers opportunities for New Yorkers to share ideas and feedback for updated “Principles of Good Urban Design;” English-Spanish video offers overview

Graphic of buildings and people on the street

NEW YORK – Department of City Planning (DCP) Executive Director Anita Laremont today announced the launch of an interactive urban design website for the public to collaborate on updating the Principles of Good Urban Design, a resource that helps New Yorkers advocate for their communities and shape their urban environment.

“An inclusive approach to urban design is essential to making our neighborhoods the best they can be. As we continue to build a public realm that’s healthier, more welcoming and more equitable for everyone to use and enjoy, we want more New Yorkers to get involved,” said DCP Executive Director Anita Laremont. “To that end, we’re going to the experts, New Yorkers themselves! Please visit our new website to share your ideas on good urban design and help us create a vision for a more vibrant city for decades to come.”

The new website is intended as a collaborative discussion and education forum, and supplements ongoing discussions with communities across New York City around planning and urban design. It breaks down technical concepts and provides guidance on how the public can get more involved in public planning processes and urban design. The site will help more New Yorkers get involved in shaping the building blocks of the city we share. This is even more important at a time when New York City is re-envisioning the way we use public streets, sidewalks and open spaces.

“It’s exciting that all New Yorkers are invited to share their thoughts and ideas on how to make this city a better place to live, work and play. This new Department of City Planning website translates complicated concepts into an easily accessible and informative resource that every New Yorker can engage with,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President (EDC) & CEO Rachel Loeb. “The interactive features on the website allow residents to share stories about their neighborhoods, which will help guide those who are working to improve urban design and quality of life in our city.”

“Reimagining NYCHA’s public spaces for the 21st century requires multiple touchpoints for our residents to weigh-in and provide feedback on the design features they would like to see in their communities,” said New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “We applaud the Department of City Planning for creating this valuable tool and look forward to seeing its implementation across New York City.”

“Engaging residents in planning for the future of their neighborhoods is at the heart of our efforts to create an equitable and inclusive New York City,” said New York City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Louise Carroll. “Under this Administration, HPD has partnered with DCP to put communities in the driver’s seat on decisions about the affordable housing, community resources and elements of urban design that will strengthen communities and help ensure everyone’s needs are met. I want to congratulate DCP on this new interactive urban design website that makes it simpler for people to participate in and contribute to neighborhood planning.” 

“For years, DOT has been a leader in delivering quality streetscapes and public spaces, and City Planning’s new website will help us work with New Yorkers across the City to continue those efforts,” said New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Assistant Commissioner for Cityscapes & Franchises Michelle Craven. “This website will allow New Yorkers to actively engage with the street design process and we look forward to working with our partners at City Planning as street design elements evolve in the coming months.”

As an introduction, an animated video in English and Spanish illustrates how urban design affects our experience of the city. Educational materials on the site empower New Yorkers to take action on urban design and planning priorities, including an infographic with tips and resources to help citizens develop their ideas and navigate government.

Feedback received through the Principles of Good Urban Design website, and at related events over the next several months, will inform DCP’s coming and updated “Principles of Good Urban Design,” which was first released in 2017. The updated guide is expected to be finalized and released next year.

Besides the website, DCP will seek feedback at events starting this Friday, Sept. 17, on the annual Park(ing) Day NYC, which seeks to spur dialogue about the activation, design and use of public spaces in New York City. This year, DCP urban designers will join teachers and students from the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS) and representatives of the American Society of Landscape Architects, New York chapter, and speak to New Yorkers about the design of our shared public realm.

On the Principles of Urban Design website, New Yorkers can, on their own time, share ideas, feedback and neighborhood perspectives by completing three activities.

The activities include: a photo board where New Yorkers can describe the look and feel of their neighborhoods and what improvements they would like to see; a survey for New Yorkers to give neighborhood perspectives on the Principles; and a discussion forum about the Principles. Feedback will be collected from the public until November 2021.

" creates an environment for New Yorkers to imagine better public spaces and provide feedback to urban planners," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "I hope everyone will make an effort to log in and contribute."

“Good urban design starts with understanding the needs of residents and community, and this can only be done with knowledge of their firsthand lived experiences that inform their insight and input,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “The Department of City Planning’s new interactive website is an innovative, easy-to-use tool that will seamlessly enable Queens residents and all New Yorkers to contribute their valuable ideas to the urban planning process. I commend the Department of City Planning for its commitment to helping New Yorkers shape the design of their City.”

“As Chair of the Housing and Buildings Committee, I am struck by how some of the best ideas come from members of the public,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Chair of the New York City Council Housing and Buildings Committee. “I have constituents with well-developed design ideas, and we need more ways to utilize the input of all, especially the Black and Brown communities who deserve to be part of the decision-making process. I believe the new urban design resource and activity space does just that. I commend the Department of City Planning for finding a new way to empower the brilliance of our fellow New Yorkers.”

"Urban design goes far beyond building architecture and planning street networks, it must also include planning creative uses of our open spaces and the preservation and expansion of our parks,” said Council Member Peter Koo, Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Parks and Recreation. “Nobody knows their communities better than the New Yorkers who live and work in them, and this website is a great way for communities to connect with government and share their insights and expertise with city planners."

“The Civic Engagement Commission wholeheartedly endorses all sister agencies’ efforts to interact directly with our local neighborhoods and communities. I commend the Department of City Planning for launching a website that will encourage New Yorkers to get more involved in city planning by demystifying planning concepts and will provide opportunities for New Yorkers to weigh in on the core principles that guide the City’s design and planning,” said New York City Civic Engagement Commission Chair & Executive Director Dr. Sarah Sayeed.

“The Public Design Commission applauds the Department of City Planning staff for their ongoing efforts to democratize New York City’s design process,” said Public Design Commission Executive Director Keri Butler. “These tools and engagement opportunities will encourage community members to become involved in developing public design principles, resulting in a more equitable and thoughtfully planned City.”

"Urban design is a powerful tool to build safe, healthy and beautiful neighborhoods. We applaud the Department of City Planning for listening to New Yorkers about the ways we can shape our city’s future with this new resource," said Urban Design Forum Executive Director Daniel McPhee.

“We are excited about the opportunity this new website provides for our students and all New Yorkers to learn about and participate in urban planning and community advocacy,” said WHEELS Principal Thomas Rochowicz. “We look forward to the Department of City Planning sharing it at our students’ visionary youth-led Park(ing) Day event, which prioritizes our connection to our community’s public space and is the perfect setting for conversations about the Principles of Good Urban Design.”

This digital platform is one of many DCP has produced over the past several years as part of its commitment toward increased accessibility and transparency for the public through well-designed, open source, web-based tools, including:

  • Community District Profiles, which provide a robust, intuitive graphical overview of each of our 59 Community Districts, and handy comparison charts
  • Facilities Explorer, which provides an intuitive interface to explore where all City or State facilities lie within New York City, and who they serve
  • Population Factfinder, which provides any New Yorker the ability to quickly understand the demographics of any part of the five boroughs, and a range of deeper research options
  • ZAP, which makes details and status of all land use applications directly available to the public through an intuitive, searchable map-based interface.
  • ZoLa, which provide zoning districts and associated information for any lot in the City


Department of City Planning
The Department of City Planning (DCP) plans for the strategic growth and development of the City through ground-up planning with communities, the development of land use policies and zoning regulations applicable citywide, and its contribution to the preparation of the City’s 10-year Capital Strategy. DCP promotes housing production and affordability, fosters economic development and coordinated investments in infrastructure and services, and supports resilient, sustainable communities across the five boroughs for a more equitable New York City.

In addition, DCP supports the City Planning Commission in its annual review of approximately 450 land use applications for a variety of discretionary approvals. The Department also assists both government agencies and the public by advising on strategic and capital planning and providing policy analysis, technical assistance and data relating to housing, transportation, community facilities, demography, zoning, urban design, waterfront areas and public open space.