top of page

Intimate Neighbourhoods: NYC placemaking research grant

We are delighted to announce that we've been awarded funding from the British Council and Arts Council England for phase 1 of our major new cross-city research initiative on Placemaking - "Intimate Neighbourhoods- LDN*NYC". We have some incredible New York partners on board including leading figures, experts and institutions. We’re kicking off the project with an initial visit to New York in October and will be sharing updates on the project as we develop it in the coming months.

As world cities, both London and New York are under pressure to deliver ever increasing numbers of homes through rapid regeneration and consequently advancing gentrification.

Faced with such urgent urban transitions, how can we retain the vitality, diversity and character of neighbourhoods and not erase the idiosyncracies that make them particular? How can we approach necessary change in a way that mitigates the loss of community? Can we ensure instead that we are creating communities that are robust, sustainable and desirable to their inhabitants?


Pratt Institute; David Burney

Associate Professor of Planning and Placemaking.

Urban Design Forum; Daniel McPhee

Executive Director at Urban Design Forum

Practice Architecture Urbanism; Vishaan Chakrabarti

Founder. Associate Professor of Practice at Columbia University


Intimate Neighborhoods - LDN*NYC is a cross-city research and development project which will develop insights on the themes of Place-making, Community Co-Creation and Citizenship in the context of high-density development.

It seeks to generate shared perspectives, foster dialogue and learning by holding up a mirror between two cities concurrently undergoing rapid change under different forces.

The research will be carried out by engaging with leading NY voices and experts through the lens of the three following themes:

· Interrogating “Place-making”

· Community Co-authorship

· Value: Social Capital & Citizenship

Cross-Disciplinary Conversations & Contributors

As part of the research, we are seeking to engage with a wide range of disciplines including urban planners, artists, cultural practitioners, academics, researcher, community-focused initiatives, city institutions, developers and other organisations with related concerns.


It is an R&D initiative to gain cross-city insights on Place-making in order to view problems in a new light, re-articulate or combine existing practices/ideas to develop a fresh approach which will form the basis of a new place-making toolkit (Phase 2).

To build on understandings of “placemaking” approaches through the lens of human value / social capital in order to develop ideas, fresh thinking and new perspectives for how they can more widely applied in the context of high density development and rapid change.

To advocate for processes that can enable socially and economically valuable outcomes to be derived THROUGH the development process.

To build on debate on how to enable and support citizen empowerment and well-being.


Engagement with New York experts / practitioners initially to map approaches, methodologies, agenda/critical positions, conceptual tools, paradigms, and philosophies in place-making to inform the development or need for new approaches in the context of high density development.


Through the generative process of Phase 1 works, we aim to open-up new possibilities and develop a body propositions and principles that can influence discourse and debate on place-making through dissemination across the industry.

To develop insights that will lead to a new model / place-making toolkit for high density, liveable neighbourhoods

"Objects alone do not make a place. It is how people feel about and respond to the elements in their environment, as well as other people who share their space, that help determine what a place is."

Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director, The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking (USA). “Creative Placemaking: Integrating Community, Cultural and Economic development,” white paper, 2012.

bottom of page