Planning—New York, New York

East Midtown Public Realm Vision Plan

With the goal of creating a 21st century world-class district, New York City's Department of City Planning and Department of Transportation are collaborating to ensure that the design and improvements of East Midtown's public realm (streets, sidewalks and plazas) help to support and achieve that goal. In direct response to community requests and the office of Council member Garodnick to engage the public in the planning of East Midtown, the City of New York selected Jonathan Rose Companies to lead a civic engagement and urban design effort to envision the future of the district's public places and to identify short-, medium-, and long- term projects for implementation.

The planning and design team, composed of Jonathan Rose Companies, Gehl Architects, and Skanska engaged the public in three highly interactive workshops. The first workshop was about discovery as we learned what qualities people wanted in their public spaces and where. The second workshop was about design as the public helped refine and build upon initial design hunches and ideas for the 73-block district. And the final workshop was about synthesis as the public helped to distill and prioritize our final vision.

In addition to these public sessions, community participation was supported and extended online via a MindMixer (, a social website that allowed people to continue to generate, share, and respond to ideas outside of the formal workshops. 

Based on this collaborative process, we developed a series of creative ideas and solutions for reducing pedestrian congestion, improving connectivity, and creating vibrant public places for people to support the growth and demands of world-class 21st century urban district. 

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Project Profile

Public Realm Vision Plan

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Project Team
Gehl Architects
Project Status

Completion: 2013

Total Project Size / Budget