This research project posits the concept of ‘Cultural Commerce’ as the basis for an alternative model to the existing Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) paradigm; interrogating issues of advocacy, displacement, inclusion, and territory through public policy initiatives and architectural intervention.

The proposed Cultural Commerce – Queens program (CC-Q) responds to the limitations of the current BID model, employing a public policy ‘mechanism’ administered on a borough-specific basis by NYC’s department of Small Business Services that includes provisions for place-based capital improvement and development projects. Four vignettes of varying scales, located within the area of the 82nd Street BID in Jackson Heights and its failed expansion along Roosevelt Avenue, explore the potential for these site specific initiatives using a deployable and scalable architectural ‘language’. Extrapolated forward, the proposal envisions a future where CC-Q has fostered a constellation of intervention, overlaying the borough of Queens with an adaptable and sustainable network of cultural commerce - a place for the marginalized that advocates for small business, equitable development and diversity.

To read more about the project click here, and to view the full project presentation click here.

This work was made possible by a fellowship awarded by the Institute for Public Architecture as part of their 2018 Summer Residency Program entitled ‘Panorama of Possibilities: Queens’.

Project team:
Mark Fiedler - Fiedler Marciano Architecture
Mike Nickerson - Dattner Architects
Jocelyn Drummond - CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance