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Mayor Adams unveils transformative plan to elevate public spaces in New York City

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In a major move to reshape New York City’s public spaces, Mayor Eric Adams has introduced a comprehensive report, “Realm of Possibility: 15 Ways NYC is Improving Public Space for New Yorkers.”

This initiative follows the appointment of the city’s first Chief Public Realm Officer, Ya-Ting Liu, a strategic position established to enhance public spaces, streamline processes, and support economic revitalization.

Mayor Adams plan includes the nation’s largest outdoor dining program, building on the success of pandemic-era outdoor dining to enrich city streetscapes and support small businesses.

The “Get Sheds Down” initiative aims to reduce unsightly scaffolding, replacing it with more aesthetically pleasing and safer alternatives. NYC Parks is also planting a record number of new trees, significantly reducing costs and enhancing green spaces, particularly in heat-vulnerable neighborhoods.

The “’Ur In’ Luck” program plans to add and renovate public restrooms citywide, making them more accessible and easier to locate via Google Maps. Additionally, a new curb management plan addresses the competing demands on city streets, enhancing the usability and safety of these spaces for all New Yorkers.

The administration is launching a Public Space Incubator to accelerate project completion in underserved areas and a ‘Public Space Avengers’ team to streamline interagency coordination. Efforts to cut red tape include the establishment of a Public Space Academy to train local organizations in best practices, easing permitting processes, and reducing legal burdens for public space maintenance.

“Our parks, plazas, and streets are the heartbeat of New York City,” said Mayor Adams. “We are committed to creating vibrant public spaces that not only improve quality of life but also drive our economy forward. This comprehensive approach ensures that every New Yorker, in every neighborhood, benefits from these enhancements.”

Under Liu’s leadership, New York City is seeing a coordinated effort to reimagine and optimize public spaces, making them more welcoming and functional. “Our goal is to transform every neighborhood into a place of joy and community,” said Liu.

Leaders from various city departments and public space advocacy groups have expressed strong support for the plan. “This report showcases our collective commitment to improving New York City’s public spaces for everyone,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer.

Mayor Adams’ “Realm of Possibility” report outlines a visionary path for public spaces in New York City, promising more inclusive, accessible, and vibrant areas that enhance urban life and foster community engagement.

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