Neighborhood Plaza Partnership (NPP) is a program of The Horticultural Society of New York (The Hort), dedicated to helping neighborhoods transform reclaimed streets into vibrant public spaces. NPP complements the educational, cultural, and workforce initiatives through which The Hort sustains the vital connection between people and plants.
Created in 2013, NPP is a response to the opportunity and need created by the New York City Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Plaza Program. In partnership with community-based organizations, the DOT is building pedestrian plazas across the city. Once the DOT creates a plaza, the city contracts with the community-based partner to maintain and program it.
There are now more than 71 plazas in the works across the city – from Times Square to Ozone Park. These spaces are transformative — providing new open space, beautification, safer streets, increased foot traffic and economic activity, community events and partnerships, broad civic participation, and workforce development. New Yorkers love the plazas, so even struggling organizations are willing to invest the time and money to privately manage them.
At least half of the DOT’s plazas are in neighborhoods where resources are scarce, and where the financial burden of management falls on low-capacity non-profits. NPP combines direct service with advocacy to assist those community-based organizations serving as plaza managers in high need areas. NPP services include a subsidized maintenance service using a workforce training model; organizational capacity-building; marketing advisory services; and citywide promotion of the benefits of the DOT Plaza Program.