Developing a Guide to Support Community Members to Strengthen their Public Spaces
The NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) is committed to serving its diverse community across New York City through the activation of public space. This is achieved by encouraging strong partnerships between residents and government stakeholders to address neighborhood safety issues. MOCJ identified a significant challenge for such alliances is that information about the government processes for public spaces improvement is often inconsistent and inaccessible to those who require it. To address this, MOCJ envisions the Neighborhood Activation Playbook, a road map for people of various experience levels to utilize governmental tools to support community-driven projects. MOCJ brought on TYTHEdesign, in partnership with and Daniel Lim Consulting (DLC), to conduct design research for the development of the Playbook. The objective was to utilize the expertise of the Playbook’s future users, namely New York City residents in historically underserved areas and other key stakeholders, to create a tool that would be useful and inspiring.
TYTHE and DLC sought to incorporate a wide range of insights into the Playbook through a multi-pronged research approach. First, we led two focus groups with NYCHA residents who are currently working with MOCJ to transform public spaces. Second, we facilitated a co-creation workshop with City agencies, non-profits, academics, and community stakeholders, and interviews with key City agency staff to understand the specific processes in place that can be utilized for public space improvement.
TYTHE and DLC synthesized the insights from the focus groups, workshop, and interviews into a set of key recommendations for the Neighborhood Activation Playbook: Safe Places, Active Spaces! — ranging from framing, to format, to language and a dissemination strategy— that together help to improve its usability. Currently, the Playbook is designed into a digital and printed document, using the recommendations we provided as a road map for its development.
Client: NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice
Collaborators: TYTHEdesign: Kristina Drury, Isabel Saffon Sanin, Michaela Kramer. Daniel Lim Consulting: Daniel Lim, Emily Ahn Levy