How could Sunnyside Yard, one of the largest potential development sites in New York City, provide a generational opportunity in Western Queens to create a new model for affordable housing and equitable economic development while respecting the character of surrounding neighborhoods and reflecting the diversity and aspirations of its residents?
NYC Economic Development Corporation and
Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU)
2018 - 2019
Data Capture and Analysis
Public Meeting Facilitation
Stakeholder Engagement Design
Covering 180-acres of land in Western Queens, Sunnyside Yard is the largest active railyard in the Northeast. NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Amtrak embarked on a process of exploring an overbuild of Sunnyside Yard to allow for mixed-use development on the deck. Urbane was selected by NYCEDC and lead contractor Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) to lead Community Engagement efforts for the Sunnyside Yard Master Plan.
Over the course of the project, Urbane designed, executed, and codified a range of engagement efforts and their respective outcomes, including individual and group interviews with a variety of stakeholders; public meetings to educate and solicit feedback on the master planning process; community workshops; and broad outreach touchpoints in concert with NYCEDC.
Urbane planned and executed three public meetings with over 500 attendees cumulatively. Through informational content and activities, these meetings were designed to educate residents on the master planning process and solicit insights on a range of topics – from transportation planning and infrastructure needs, to crafting a guiding vision and deciding the look and feel of open space on the site.
Urbane also designed and facilitated four community workshops to take a closer look at key topics and surface deeper insights to inform the master plan, including transportation, urban design, and ways to implement sustainability efforts on the site. In addition, Urbane conducted over 75 individual interviews with a range of local stakeholders that include advocacy groups, community-based organizations, faith-based institutions, and residents, and also conducted 16 small group interviews that engaged a total of 145 individuals, from educators and small business owners to representatives from arts and cultural institutions.
For each of engagement type, Urbane codified insights and provided the other consultant teams community and stakeholder input to inform the design, engineering, and land use mix within the master plan. The engagement activities and insights ultimately helped shape the overarching vision for the Sunnyside Yard Master Plan and potential site selection and land use mix for Phase 1 of the development.