OneNYC Plaza Equity Program

The OneNYC Plaza Equity Program (OPEP) addresses the needs of NYC plazas in under-resourced neighborhoods where community-based partner organizations struggle to maintain a high-quality public space. To achieve the goal of equitable public space throughout the City, OPEP provides horticultural care, maintenance services, financial subsides, and a host of technical assistance tools to plaza partner organizations.

OPEP assists 30 plazas based on need. Need levels for existing plazas are determined by partner capacity and location needs.

Based on need ranking, plazas and their partner organizations receive assistance through one of two tracks: High Need Plazas and Medium Need Plazas.

On a sunny day, a staff member from The Hort’s Green Team attends to a raised garden bed in a public plaza.

High Need Plazas

High Need Plazas receive a full suite of maintenance services, horticultural care, and technical assistance. These services are provided through a contract with The Horticultural Society of New York (The Hort).

High Need Plazas receive daily furniture set up and break down, sweeping, and cleaning. Additionally The Hort provides regular power washing and snow removal. These plazas also receive seasonal plantings four times a year. Technical assistance is provided to partner organizations with a focus on fundraising and fiscal management as a means to grow their capacity for public space management.

High Need Plazas in NYC:

Plaza Borough Partner Organization
Ave C Plaza Brooklyn Kensington Cultural Council
Kensington Plaza Brooklyn NYC DOT
Parkside Plaza Brooklyn Parkside Empire Merchants Assoc.
Knickerbocker Plaza Brooklyn Riseboro
New Lots Plaza Brooklyn NYC DOT
Morrison Ave Plaza Bronx Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice
Fordham Plaza Bronx NYC DOT
37th Road “Diversity” Plaza Queens NYC DOT
Corona Plaza Queens Queens EDC
Forsyth Plaza Manhattan NYC DOT
Myrtle-Wyckoff Plaza Brooklyn/Queens NYC DOT
Beach 20th Street Queens Rockaway Revitalization Development Corporation
Roberto Clemente Plaza Bronx Third Avenue BID

Medium Need Plazas

Medium Need Plazas receive a financial subsidy of up to $20,000 per year to offset expenses related to plaza management and operations. Funds are provided on a reimbursement basis: partner organizations submit qualifying expenditures to NYC DOT after they are incurred. Additionally, Medium Need Plaza partner organizations may take part in the technical assistance offerings provided by The Hort.

Medium Need Plazas in NYC:

Plaza Borough Partner Organization
Fowler Square Plaza Brooklyn Fulton Area Business Alliance
Marcy Avenue Plaza Brooklyn Bed Stuy Restoration Corporation
Putnam Triangle Plaza Brooklyn Fulton Area Business Alliance
Delancey Plaza Manhattan Lower East Side BID
71st Avenue Plaza Queens Myrtle Avenue BID Queens
Douglaston Plaza Queens Douglaston LDC
Lowery Plaza Queens Sunnyside Shines BID
Bliss Plaza Queens Sunnyside Shines BID
Myrtle Avenue Plaza Queens Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership
Venditti Square Queens Myrtle Avenue BID Queens
Plaza De Las Americas Manhattan Washington Heights Inwood Development Corp.
Liberty Plaza Queens Bangladeshi American Community Development & Youth (BACDYS)
Johnny Hartman Plaza Manhattan Brotherhood Sister Soul
Osborn Street Plaza Brooklyn Brownsville Community Justice Center
Hillel Plaza Brooklyn Flatbush Nostrand Junction BID
125th St Plaza Manhattan Uptown Grand Central
Westchester Sq Plaza Bronx Westchester Square BID

How Partner Capacity is Determined

Partner Type

Organizations that do not have public space management as part of their mission, are all volunteer, or are otherwise extending themselves to manage a public space ranked higher in need than well-funded BIDs and other affluent management organizations.

Public Space Experience

The number of years and variety of management experiences an organization has had with public space.

Annual Budget

Partner organizations with a small annual operating budget, compared to other partners.

How Site Context is Determined

Square Footage

Overall size of a plaza as it relates to the capacity of the partner organization.

Foot Traffic/Usage

Plaza usage has significant impact on maintenance, placing an increased burden on lower capacity partners. Plazas in close proximity to major transit hubs rank higher in need than those in less busy areas.

Commercial Corridor

Busy commercial corridors see greater usage of public space which increases the maintenance burden on low capacity partners.

Neighborhood Income

Plazas in neighborhoods where income is low based on HUD CDGB eligibility and census tract median income, rank high on the need for assistance.