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2013 - 2014

Orchard St. Streetscape Co-Design

The historic Orchard Street corridor in the Lower East Side between Canal and Houston is one of New York City's most iconic streets. Home to landmark buildings and institutions and a huge variety of retailers, galleries and restaurants, Orchard Street is the heart of the LES's thriving street life for locals and visitors.

While the street is an international success story, a number of infrastructure upgrades are important for it to continue to thrive. These include sidewalk planning, more trees and plantings, bicycle parking and rationalized loading and parking areas for retailers. Pilot Projects sees these vital streetscape elements as part of an organic process that should draw on local knowledge, in concert with New York City planning guidelines.

To facilitate this, we have designed a community engagement process to generate feedback and design solutions in real time with stakeholders present. Using our SANDBOX method and a 16-foot long physical model of the entire street, we will address the issues in context. Design solutions has been refined and submitted for community board approval before final approval by City agencies.

The streetscape and sidewalks of Orchard Street are poised to demonstrate the best of New York in a way that reflects the LES neighborhood. Once successfully implemented, the community planning process on Orchard Street will become a template for design improvements throughout the Lower East Side more broadly – eventually coalescing into neighborhood streetscape and sidewalk Design Guidelines.

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