NYC Roundtable: Improving business through open space: The role of open space in generating business activity at NYC’s Business Improvement Districts

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Thursday, February 25, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

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Event Type: Conference

NYC Roundtable : “Improving business through open space: The role of open space in generating business activity at NYC’s Business Improvement Districts.”

Date & Time:  February 25, 2021, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

LocationRSVP required at

The event’s Zoom information will be forwarded via the RSVP email.

Event Purpose:  

New York City (NYC) has been grappling with empty storefronts as businesses struggle to stay afloat due to rent and wage increases as well as consumers’ shift towards online shopping. The prevalence of the current COVID-19 pandemic has further made this issue visible.

The purpose of this event is to discuss the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on NYC’s Business Improvements Districts (BIDs). The discussion will follow up on New York City’s Open Space recovery initiatives and whether utilizing open space has helped improve business activity within BIDs. Additionally, the discussion will highlight experiences of BID leaders prior and during the pandemic, explore changes in the real estate market, examine the continuing financial challenges that businesses face, and touch upon the role of urban planning in mitigating these challenges.

Event Description:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh heavily on the economy of the United States, state and local jurisdictions are challenged to deal with the economic consequences. New York City’s Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have deployed creative strategies to help businesses stay afloat during this period by utilizing open space to promote business activity. While the City explores long-term borrowing options to fund critical government operations and projects, the New York Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association, Economic Development Committee brings together a range of experts to provide insight.


  • Roxanne Earley, NYC Small Business Services, Business Improvement District Program
  • Kyle Gorman, NYC Department of Transportation, Public Space Unit
  • Evan Sweet, Meatpacking Business Improvement District (Manhattan)
  • Mark Caserta, Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District (Brooklyn)
  • Michael Brady, Third Avenue Business Improvement District (Bronx)

Moderator: Maryam Yaghoubi

CM Credits: 1.5 credits (pending)

Committee: APA NYM Economic Development Committee