New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is the largest housing authority in the country and New York City’s largest landlord. With over 500,000 tenants spread across 170,000 units, 1 in 15 New Yorkers call NYCHA campuses home. NYCHA is an urban landbank of over 2400 acres, yet 88% of open space sits behind fences and is inaccessible for resident use. 40% of the city’s playgrounds are housed on NYCHA campuses but go mostly untouched because of damage incurred by unintended adult use. But when considering nearly 75% of NYCHA residents are over 18, but only 2% of available outdoor space on campuses is designed for adult passive use, it’s clear something isn’t adding up. NYCHA’s Open Space Master Plan offers a new vision for a new era of public housing in New York, centered on resident quality of life. Grounded in active design principles, connected community-building, and multigenerational use, open space is the heart of the NYCHA Masterplan—a roadmap to removing fences, returning access to mature trees, and un-paving the way towards a greener future for NYCHA and all of NYC.


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