What's Next: USQ-14th Street Neighborhood Visioning + Planning

Union Square Partnership is a little more than halfway through our nine-month Neighborhood Visioning + Planning initiative with Marvel Architects. Look out for our online survey, coming soon, for the opportunity to weigh in on emerging project concepts.

Since we kicked off the program in September, we’ve heard your thoughts, challenges, and suggestions about our neighborhood through a series of listening pop-ups, residential building visits, commercial office events, and large-format public forums. We are thrilled to have had heard from so many people and learned more about your shared vision for our community. So far,  USP has spoken to almost 1,000 individual stakeholders, many in one-on-one conversations, whose ideas and concerns will shape a plan for the future of the neighborhood.

USP has started to synthesize feedback that we received and will develop distinct project concepts around the community-identified areas of focus. Read on to see greater detail on what we’ve heard so far and how you can get involved in the coming months.

Find more background information on USP’s Neighborhood Visioning + Planning initiative here.

Community Outreach + Engagement

Through this initiative, USP has been learning and gathering feedback from Union Square residents, employees, students, commuters, visitors, and others on the future of the district. Check out the breakdown of ways that we’ve engaged with the community over the past couple of months, below. If you missed any of these events, find resources, highlights, photos and more. Read a recap of our first Community Forum (November 29, 2018), view photos of outreach and engagement from around the district, and browse background information on our Neighborhood Planning Initiative process.

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Emerging Opportunities and project concepts

On January 28, 2019, USP and Marvel Architects held our second participatory community visioning and planning forum at Xavier High School’s Keenan Commons.  With an audience of over 90 community members, the Marvel team presented overarching goals shaping our work, and led discussion on six priority areas, informed by feedback received throughout the planning process. Overall goals shaping the project include:

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During two small group discussions, community members imagined new streetscapes, considered new designs for each focus area, and voted on emerging concepts. Much of the discussion considered activating streets through more art, trees, pop-up food kiosks and additional seating. Priorities discussed at the November Community Forum informed our six focus areas. View our presentation from the forum and read on for highlights on emerging concepts for each of the areas below.

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STREETSCAPES

  • Demand exists for more greenery + amenities along our streetscapes

  • Interest in creating a more cohesive design across our public spaces (i.e. tree pits, seating, plantings)

  • Opportunities to apply the design include 14th Street, as well as adjacent blocks around the park

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Union Square Triangle Park

  • Reimagine the underutilized space in Triangle Park to expand green spaces and create a new signature destination

  • Create a gateway to the district for those arriving from the south along 14th Street

  • Strong community consensus on more seating, improved landscaping and some type of kiosk/vendor

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Union Square West Broadway Gateway

  • Community strongly interested in a connected pedestrian space from 17th Street Broadway Plaza down Union Square West and connecting to University Place

  • Opportunity to consider either fully pedestrianized or shared street designs

  • Integrate elements from larger streetscape design vision, such as street seats and landscaping

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Union Square North Plaza

  • Strong consensus on activating the North Plaza during non-Greenmarket days

  • Opportunity to integrate larger streetscape design elements such as pedestrian ways and landscaping along 17th Street between Broadway and Union Square East

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Union Square Park Core

  • Consensus on the importance of movable furniture and demand for additional seating throughout park core

  • Opportunity to reconfigure pathways to showcase elements such as the central flagpole and statues, and create respite in the center of the park

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University Place Gateway/ South Plaza

  • Demand exists to ease pedestrian and vehicular traffic on 14th Street between University Place and Broadway

  • Opportunity to integrate streetscape design elements to create cohesive pedestrian space along Union Square West, University Place and the South Plaza

  • Strong consensus on integrating security measures into public space seating designs

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Next Steps

Stay tuned: you will have additional opportunities to weigh in on emerging design concepts and help us set priorities through our online survey, coming out soon. Additionally, mark your calendar for July 2019, when we will provide a full update and announce the results of our nine-month Neighborhood Visioning Process.