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By The City/For The City: Civic Involvement Improves New York
Photo by Ed Yourdon

Times Square has become more pedestrian-friendly in recent years. Photo by Ed Yourdon.

The Institute for Urban Design (IfUD), a nonprofit organization fostering dialogue in urban planning, and the Project for Public Spaces (PPS), a nonprofit planning and design organization, are collecting ideas on how to design a better New York City through a public ideas competition titled, By The City/For The City. The project is part of Urban Design Week 2011, a new public festival created to engage New Yorkers with urban planning and public space issues.

The competition asks New Yorkers to share their ideas about where the greatest opportunities should take place within the five boroughs of New York City. The project is accepting all ideas, whether at the local or city level. But don’t think the competition is an opportunity to file complaints. The project’s website clarifies that complaints should be directed to 311, the city’s phone number for government information and non-emergency services.

Once all ideas are accepted, the competition’s sponsors will gather architects, planners and designers to create proposals using the entries as inspiration. The proposals will then be published as an atlas of opportunity for the future of the city and presented at the Urban Design Week festival.

The most important aspect of getting your idea implemented is building momentum around your entry. The project’s website encourages entrants to share ideas with family and friends to increase votes and comments. Entries with the most feedback draw attention and will probably get noticed more easily by designers.

To contribute your idea for New York’s improvement, you can click here. The competition is accepting entries until April 30, 2011.

Urban Design Week, where the projects will be displayed, is set to be held in New York City September 15-20, 2011.

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