Institute for Urban Design

By the City/For the City

New York City


The Institute for Urban Design created By the City/For the City to turn the traditional design competition process on its ear by sourcing the sites and situations to be addressed directly from the people of New York City, rather than choosing a site and “parachuting in.” A digital public input site, built on Project for Public Spaces’ Ushahidi-based PlaceMap, asked people to complete the phrase “Wouldn’t it be great if… ” From this, 600 ideas were generated and analyzed, and an open call brought in 150 proposals by designers who proposed responses to the ideas that intrigued them most. The resulting publication, An Atlas of Possibility for the Future of New York, provides a snapshot of possible futures.

Accessibility, Community, Information, Pleasure
6 months
100 +
Problem - lack of public interest in urban design
Solution - digital platform connecting public desires with design solutions