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February 2021 | Honoring Black History Month + Exciting News for New York City's BIDs

Our team looks forward to continuing to learn together as we celebrate Black leaders in planning and design who have shaped our field, and as we interrogate history that has led to unjust outcomes in planning.

  • Attend NYC Parks’ Black History Month virtual events - we can’t wait to check them out.

  • Access the Space/Race reading list compiled by architectural historians, art historians, architects, and urbanists.

  • Stream The 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. here, available through February.

  • Read about Flowering Forest, a tree tribute to civil rights leader Representative John Lewis honoring his life and legacy.


On January 7, Rebecca Karp, CEO and Managing Principal of Karp Strategies, moderated a panel discussion hosted by NYATEP titled “Housing: American Dream to Hardship” with distinguished housing and planning policy leaders: Laura Buxbaum, SVP of Public Policy and Resource Development at CEI; Denise Scott, Executive Vice President of Programs at LISC; and Clyde Higgs, President & CEO at Atlanta Beltline. The discussion focused on the importance of interconnected policies for housing, workforce development, transportation, childcare, health, and job stability. Read more about our reflections from the panel here.


Congratulations to the Meatpacking District Management Association for their successful Future Streets installation! Karp Strategies designed a stakeholder engagement and messaging strategy that connects businesses in NYC’s Meatpacking District with the benefits of a proposed pilot for public space improvements and pedestrian-prioritized design, which the BID intended to propose following the installation.

The Meatpacking District Management Association operates a business improvement district in the Meatpacking neighborhood in Manhattan, a once-industrial area that is now home to high-end retail, condos, the Chelsea Market, the Whitney Museum, and the High Line. The association looked to meet the demand for flexible and safe open space in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and hired a team led by Arup to develop the pilot program. A three-day Future Streets installment was held in September 2020, a creative reimagining of how the district’s streets could be utilized. This supported the City’s “Open Streets: Restaurants” program and added 13,000 square feet of public space to the neighborhood’s public plazas. Following the installation, the BID intends to take its findings to create a proposal for a pilot for public space improvements and pedestrian-prioritized design. As part of the team, Karp Strategies designed an engagement and messaging strategy to help the BID reach and communicate the benefits of the proposed pilot to its stakeholders, which would ultimately restore the Meatpacking District as a thriving destination neighborhood not just for local businesses and residents, but for New Yorkers across the five boroughs.


The SoHo-Broadway Initiative serves those living, working, and visiting the Broadway corridor from Houston to Canal Street, a critical thoroughfare in the iconic SoHo neighborhood in New York City. Currently, Broadway faces a myriad of complex issues, from vehicular congestion to a lack of open space, compounded by the pandemic and recession. To address these challenges, the Initiative launched a planning process to develop a public realm vision and execution plan to create a safe, welcoming, and comfortable streets and sidewalks. As part of the Street Plans team, Karp Strategies is developing and implementing an inclusive, meaningful, and importantly, COVID-safe stakeholder engagement strategy to engage a wide array of community members to inform the plan. Read more about the announcement here. Karp Strategies is proud to be working with The SoHo-Broadway Initiative again, following our collaboration for the SoHo Zoning Guidebook.


In January 2021, the Union Square Partnership (USP), in collaboration with community members and Marvel, announced its exciting new vision for transforming the Union Square-14th Street area into New York City’s most accessible place. The Vision Plan reflects USP’s objectives to foster a transit-rich, dynamic, and inclusive urban space that encourages walking and gathering, celebrate the diverse communities of New Yorkers and its visitors, and make Union Square the most welcoming and accessible place in New York. Read more about the plan here. Congratulations, USP!


Meet our newest team member, Graduate Analyst Juli Schroeger! Read our welcome interview with her here.


Join us at the WRISE (Women in Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy)’s 2021 Virtual Leadership Forum! On Thursday, February 18, from 11:30am-12:30pm, Karp Strategies Analyst Cheryl Lim will be speaking about community engagement in renewable energy development alongside Alissa Jean Shafer from the Energy Policy Institute, and Larissa Johnson from the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection. Join us by registering here.


Want to continue the conversation? We’d love to hear from you. As always, we welcome the opportunity to connect with your network of partners and clients or to work with you. Feel free to drop us a line at


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