Rethinking Grand Army Plaza: Bringing Communities and People

The Grand Army Plaza Coalition was formed in March 2006 when community stakeholders (area residents, cultural institutions, and advocacy groups) rallied around a common belief: that Grand Army Plaza falls short of its potential as a hub for transit, culture, and recreation. Specifically:

  • This city can devise a solution that considers equitably all of the elements that make up Grand Army Plaza
  • Through careful study and innovative thinking, we can improve access to and through Grand Army Plaza
  • The best urban solutions arise from collaboration between the professionals (planners, designers, and engineers) and the community.

The coalition has accomplished much in this short time. Cooperating closely with the Departments of Parks and Transportation, it performed a site evaluation in May 2006, and submitted 14 recommendations to the city to improve the pedestrian experience; in November 2006 many of those suggestions were accepted or implemented. In June 2006, we engaged noted urban planner Jan Gehl to present his thoughts on Grand Army Plaza.

The next step in its long-range planning process is a community planning workshop for stakeholders and other community organizations. The coalition urges community stakeholders to take an active part in the workshop together with representatives of other organizations. Visit the coalition’s website to view a brochure describing its vision in greater detail, and discussing the main points to be addressed in the workshop.

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