JCC: Collaborative Planning for a Community Space

Social Impact Strategy
About This Project


Combining neighborhood data with hands-on workshops to inform a new community center.


Recognizing the increasing demand for family programming and a “home base” for the growing Jewish population in Harlem, the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan (JCC) sought a means to incorporate neighborhood feedback into their upcoming planning process. To best create programming for and design the new space, they reached out to TYTHEdesign, in partnership with the Public Good, to gauge community need.




TYTHEdesign, working with the Public Good, conducted an extensive Neighborhood Scan to develop a baseline knowledge of the needs and opportunities of the Jewish community in Harlem. Using an online survey, we collected data from 400 participants regarding the demographics of the population as well as their programmatic desires. To more deeply inform the project, the team conducted twenty-one in-person interviews and organized several focus groups uncovering neighborhood assets, participants’ current habits and traditions, as well as their desires for the upcoming space.


To further clarify participant preferences, TYTHE facilitated a hands-on insight gathering session with families–the survey’s most prominent demographic–at the new space, uncovering where participants felt there existed gaps in neighborhood programming, brainstorming potential programming options, and creating alignment about JCC’s role in the Harlem community. The workshop provided multiple opportunities and formats to engage with the content, incorporating subject-specific round tables, individual surveys, and group discussions.




A Clear Snapshot of Stakeholders

The extensive Neighborhood Scan is a clear picture of JCC’s stakeholders base, building a strong foundation off of which to build out the new space.


Spatial and Programmatic Recommendations

Four hundred survey participants shared specific scheduling and programmatic recommendations for the new community space. TYTHE synthesized feedback into an extensive report for JCC complete with programmatic recommendations, scheduling preferences, and community insight to prepare for the launch of the new space in January 2017.


Momentum for a New Community Space

The collaborative nature of the workshop enabled participants to bounce ideas off of one another, creating relationships within the community as well as building excitement regarding the space’s potential, ensuring a high level of participation upon its opening.



Client: JCC Harlem


Collaborators: Kristina Drury, Alix Gerber, Mary Kathryn Fisher, Tricia Davis, The Public Good


Year: 2015-2016