Livable Neighborhoods Program

Helping New Yorkers become stronger advocates for their neighborhoods


Founded on the principle that community involvement is essential to successful city planning, the Livable Neighborhoods Program (LNP) helps local leaders in under-resourced communities develop the knowledge and tools that they need to participate effectively in public land use review processes and engage in creative, community-based design and planning.

Through community visioning and educational workshops, participants become better prepared to work with developers, elected and appointed officials, and New York City agencies to advocate for the types of land use regulations and community benefits that they want and need.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 

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Previous LNP partners have said:

“The structure allowed us to recruit and build more diverse (culturally, socio-economically and geographically) audiences for our workshops. The speakers were well prepared and provided useful and factual information that was accessible to the attendees. In addition, the holistic aka Feminist structure of the workshops (providing childcare and a meal) allowed some people to participate who stated clearly they would not have been able to come otherwise.”

“Thank you for the hard work and diligence of your staff. You work hard and long hours and we appreciate what you bring to our community. Plus, by offering funds for child care you really allowed working parents to participate so thank you!”

“The Livable Neighborhoods Program helps participants to confront the daunting challenges of our communities by giving the participants the tools to recognize those challenges and how to develop a successful strategy to go forward.”

“It was a great team building exercise. It was a great way to show how a community can and should be well rounded and balanced. The program gave great ideas. It was a great way for everyone to discuss and express their concerns.”

“The program exceeded our expectations as it shared what other communities are doing in other states and in this city. It left us with a working product.”

“I enjoyed working with MAS, and the organizational perspective they brought to the table. I recommend the Livable Neighborhoods Program to any and all community-based partners.”

  • LNP partners and workshop participants in Queens CB 4
    LNP partners and workshop participants in Queens CB 4
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  • LNP kick-off event in Red Hook
    LNP kick-off event in Red Hook
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  • Mapping creative and cultural assets in Bedford Park
    Mapping creative and cultural assets in Bedford Park
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  • LNP workshop in Flatbush
    LNP workshop in Flatbush
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  • LNP program materials
    LNP program materials
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  • Acting out the “spirit of the South Bronx” in Mott Haven
    Acting out the “spirit of the South Bronx” in Mott Haven
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  • Debriefing a community mapping exercise in Red Hook
    Debriefing a community mapping exercise in Red Hook
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  • Discussing neighborhood challenges and opportunities in Port Richmond
    Discussing neighborhood challenges and opportunities in Port Richmond
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The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) is seeking applications from community-based partners interested in leading land-use planning efforts in their neighborhoods as part of its 2019 Livable Neighborhoods Program (LNP). Selected groups will work with MAS staff to develop and deliver public workshops that will help educate their neighbors on planning basics, including regulations and processes that govern land use in New York City, and community advocacy tools. Successful applicants have included community leaders of many varieties such as staff and volunteers from community-based organizations, neighborhood and block associations, and Community Boards.

LNP partners must commit to an orientation session, in-person planning meetings as needed, and weekly planning calls leading up to the workshops. MAS will provide partners with small workshop budgets and participation stipends, as well as tools and guidance to support their management of workshop agendas, outreach, and logistics. MAS staff will provide workshop content and facilitation. The average time commitment for partners is approximately 35 hours per workshop (including planning, outreach, and participation). The program timeline is as follows:

  • Late March and early April 2019 – orientation session and in-person planning meetings
  • Late April and early May 2019 – workshop outreach and weekly planning calls
  • Late May and June 2019 – workshops held on weekday evenings, or the following Saturdays: 5/18, 6/1, and 6/29

Following participation in the program, partners will be invited to join a network of fellow LNP alumni. New alumni network members will be offered a free one-year membership to MAS, including invitations to public programs and events throughout the year.

LNP alumni include individuals from: Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation, Asian Americans for Equality, Bronx Community Boards 5 and 7, Flatbush-Nostrand BID, Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, HABNET Chamber of Commerce, Justice for All Coalition, Landmark East Harlem, Long Island City Coalition, Northfield Community LDC, Queens Community Board 4, Red Hook New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program, South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, and The Brownsville Partnership.

Applications will remain open until Friday, February 22, 2019.  Selected partners will be notified in early March.

For more information, please contact Joanna Crispe, Director of Community Engagement and Education at or (212) 935-3960 x1226.

Apply Now

Click here for a PDF version of the application.

Map of where Livable Neighborhood Program workshops have been held.
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MAS is grateful to our supporters:
  • New York City Department of Cultural Affairs logo
As well as past funders who have made this work possible:
  • Altman Foundation
  • Booth Ferris Foundation
  • Carnegie Endowment
  • Con Edison
  • Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation
  • Mizuho USA Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • NYC Department of Small Business Services
  • Rockefeller Brothers Fund
  • William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation
To the community-based partners who have participated in the program:
  • Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation
  • Asian Americans for Equality
  • Bronx Community Board 5
  • Bronx Community Board 7
  • Brownsville Partnership
  • Brownsville Community Justice Center
  • Flatbush-Nostrand BID
  • Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce
  • HABNET Chamber of Commerce
  • Justice for All Coalition
  • Council Member Ben Kallos
  • Landmark East Harlem
  • Long Island City Coalition
  • Northfield Community LDC
  • Red Hook New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program
  • Queens Community Board 4
  • South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBro)
And to the content partners who have contributed their expertise to the workshops:
  • Brooklyn Borough President’s Office
  • Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)
  • Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts
  • Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES)
  • Historic Districts Council
  • Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development
  • In Our Back Yard (IOBY)
  • Larisa Ortiz Associates
  • Manhattan Borough President’s Office
  • National Consortium for Creative Placemaking
  • New York City Environmental Justice Alliance
  • NYC Department of City Planning
  • NYC Independent Budget Office
  • NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
  • Partnership for Parks
  • Pratt Center for Community Development
  • Pratt Institute’s Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development (PSPD)
  • Sustainable South Bronx
  • Transportation Alternatives
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