1 of 8
1 of 8

Community Blocks

New York, New York

Initially developed as a temporary solution for New York City’s city-wide strategic pandemic response through the Neighborhoods Now initiative, Community Blocks is a flexible outdoor kit-of-parts that can be arranged to create a variety of structures that support educational programming, serve as a civic gathering space or help local businesses move their operations into the public realm. Collaborating with the Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria, a nonprofit and arts space in Washington Heights, the parts are composed of off-the-shelf lumber that can be assembled into setups, including a classroom with bench seating and tables, a stage for concerts and author lectures, and private spaces with dividers that can also hold books to host reading events. Working together with the Community League of the Heights (CLOTH), Gensler teamed up to create and refine a prototype design that will deliver value beyond the pandemic and can support longer-term community planning goals across Upper Manhattan and beyond.