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New York Expands Outdoor Activities with Open Boulevards Initiative

New York Expands Outdoor Activities with Open Boulevards Initiative

Earlier this month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the launch of the Open Boulevards program, an initiative that would temporarily close off car traffic on boulevard segments across several blocks, expanding the public space for dining, cultural activities and artistic performances. The project builds on the successful initiatives Open streets and Open Restaurants, which transformed the city’s streetscape to better serve diners, cyclists and pedestrians amidst the pandemic.

© Emily Andrews/Rockwell Group
© Emily Andrews/Rockwell Group

The Open Boulevards project creates ten multi-block corridors across the city’s five boroughs that, in addition to space for dining, feature cultural activities, community-based programming, landscaping interventions and art installations. Moreover, the new initiative designed in partnership with New York City’s Department of Transportation and the tourism organization NYC & Company also seeks to drive tourist activity across the different locations in the city. The Municipality will mark Open Boulevards with branded light pole banners and gateways at entrances, as well as urban furniture.

New Yorkers deserve more open space than ever this summer, and Open Boulevards will be a great resource for dining, cycling, and enjoying all the dynamic cultural events our city has to offer. As we bring back Open Streets: Restaurants and make Open Streets permanent, there will be more ways than ever to put our streets to work for people, not just vehicles. - Deputy Mayor for Operations Laura Anglin.

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The health crisis provided New York with the unexpected opportunity to unfold bold initiatives that expand public space and reduce car traffic. During the previous year, in an effort to cope with the effects of the health crisis, New York city unfolded several initiatives that would allow the restaurant industry to continue its activity while also expanding the pedestrian outdoor space. The success of the Open Restaurants program exceeded expectations, and in September last year, it was made permanent, as part of New York’s long-term recovery agenda, at the time having helped preserve around 90.000 jobs. Similarly, Open Street has now been transformed into a permanent program.

46th Street, New York City, 6:00 p.m, May 28, 2020.. Image © Edgar Jerins
46th Street, New York City, 6:00 p.m, May 28, 2020.. Image © Edgar Jerins

The Open Boulevards is also part of the Vision Zero initiative, a broad strategy aimed at reducing traffic fatalities to zero within ten years, a goal towards which the Municipality has taken great strides recently. Information on the boulevards included in the program and the schedule can be found here.

News Via The Official Website of the City of New York.

About this author
Cite: Andreea Cutieru. "New York Expands Outdoor Activities with Open Boulevards Initiative" 27 May 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/962388/new-york-expands-activities-across-the-streetscape-with-open-boulevards-initiative> ISSN 0719-8884

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