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"Laying The Groundwork" Design Guidelines

2016 Finalist for Spaces, Places, Cities

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 10-year housing plan aims to create or preserve a total of 200,000 new affordable units throughout New York’s five boroughs. But there’s more to housing than just price: There’s also how housing fits together to create vibrant streets and healthy neighborhoods. In partnership with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Laying the Groundwork is a design bible on how to help create better neighborhoods by designing better retail and community spaces on the ground floor, where locals come to gather. The guidelines include nine core commandments, ranging from where to place amenities like benches and bike racks to nitty-gritty guidance on electrical, mechanical, and plumbing service. All together, Laying the Groundwork aims to provide a starting point for architects and developers who want their buildings to become an integral part in the community that surrounds them.