Back the neighborhood

Reimagining The Neighborhood

We’re starting a conversation to improve the fabric of neighborhoods.
Starting with NYC’s West Village.

Ethnographic Research and Experience Design
[ Launch site ]

2020 hit us hard.
People left. Businesses closed. Restaurants shuttered. There is an urgency to promote and support resilient retailers, restaurants, and residents. It’s time to fight back; it’s time to back the neighborhood.
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Our Mission
Re-knit the fabric of the neighborhood. 
To improve the Neighborhood’s fabric, encourage local business, foster local innovation, create opportunity, build community spirit, to create a better neighborhood network. .
To inspire passion, a sense of purpose, and a belief in the Neighborhood’s power to remain resilient; provide and promote the practical tools, tips, and techniques to help residents, retailers, and restaurants recover today; and ignite common-unity to reimagine our Neighborhood of tomorrow.

How it started

It started well before the Covid pandemic. We began to witness changes to our Neighborhood. Locals being driven out by rising prices. Foreign property investors buying apartments to leave them vacant. Retail rents forcing long-time local landmark stores and restaurants to close. And then Covid, the great accelerator.
We had a choice. Sit back on our stoop and complain or get up and start to push back and rally the local population around our shared mission.
We are unsure where this fledgling local initiative will go. Still, if residents and business owners join us in this socio-economic experiment, we could improve the fabric of the Neighborhood.
‘If we wish to rebuild our cities, we must first rebuild our neighborhoods.’
Harvey Milk

It could be time to radically reimagine the Neighborhood. Like we have been told many times since Covid struck, we are all in this together

What is the answer to the question of how to rebuild the fabric of a neighborhood?
Residents shopping local rather than online? Ditching the delivery service in favor of pickup? Reimagining the restaurant experience? New hyper-local retailer collaborations? Community rooftop farms? New community spaces? Inter-generational knowledge sharing? A barter-based skills exchange? A hyperlocal digital currency?Taxation and public policy changes?
They all have a place. There is no single answer.
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Work in Progress

We have been listening to the views, ideas, and pain-points of local retailers and restaurants. We have talked to residents and local stakeholders to gain insights into what is broken in the Neighborhood.
We are exploring ways to reward local residents for their loyalty, assessing a community council’s value to work on new neighborhood initiatives, and encouraging deeper local cooperation between residents, retailers, restaurants, and small businesses..
This is a work-in-progress project dependent on collaboration, diversity of thought and vigorous imaginations. Check back soon for updates.
‘New York is the composite of tens of thousands of tiny neighborhood units’
E.B. White 1947
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