Sunnyside Yard Public Workshop: Urban Design

Submitted by alehman on Wed, 02/26/2020 - 03:00
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Members of the community discussing ideas
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Sunnyside Yard Public Workshop: Urban Design

Monday, April 8, 2019
6:00 PM  7:30 PM
Woodside Houses Community Center50-19 BroadwayWoodside, NY, 11377United States (map)

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Sunnyside Yard Urban Design Workshop. Please see the summary of findings below!

Event Summary

This workshop focused on the urban design, or the “look and feel”, of Sunnyside Yard. An opening presentation was led by Skyler Bisom-Rapp of Project for Architecture & Urbanism and James Johnson-Piett of Urbane Development. In addition to reviewing community engagement and the opportunities and challenges presented by a potential Sunnyside Yard development, the presentation discussed how the design team is approaching programming on the Yard, access to the deck, and gave an overview of floor area ratio and how it relates to building density.


After the presentation, attendees broke into small groups. Each group discussed the uses and programs they would like to see at Sunnyside Yard, as well as how the Yard should be accessed from street level. They then participated in mapping activities to indicate their preferences on building heights, density, and access points. Finally, a representative from each group shared a summary of the activities and discussion.

Key Findings from activities and small group discussions:

  1. SSY should fit in seamlessly with the surrounding neighborhoods. This means that high-rise buildings should be located closer to LIC and low-rise buildings should be built closer to Sunnyside.  

  2. There is an opportunity to build higher-density buildings around transit hubs and major north/south connectors to make use of existing transportation nodes.  

  3. Design solutions to access SSY should be a blend of stairs, elevators, escalators, ramps, and rolling hills to fit in with the surrounding context. Each access point should offer an ADA accessible option.  

  4. There is an opportunity for SSY to rethink affordability and ownership of housing and space. There was interest in exploring deeper, permanent levels of affordability, including NYCHA-type housing, and exploring community-based ownership structures like community land trust models.

  5. SSY must incorporate mixed use scenarios that blend housing, commercial, retail, and community spaces to fit the needs of the new community and existing residents of the surrounding neighborhoods.  

  6. Specific programming preferences include: 

  • Parks and greenery to anchor the site 

  • Hospital or medical center  

  • Schools for all ages 

  • Industrial/light manufacturing to create job pipeline for residents 

  • Arts/culture as a major tenant and attraction  

  • Affordable housing for all residents  

  • Pilot for green infrastructure and other sustainability efforts  

  • Transportation hub that connects major rail nodes, MTA, and BRT

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People taking part in a workshop