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Fifth Avenue is an iconic New York City destination, one of the city’s key business districts, and an economic engine for the metropolitan region.

In May 2022, Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul launched the “New” New York Panel to examine the future of New York City and the region’s economy. In December 2022, the Panel released the Making New York Work for Everyone Action Plan to guide the city’s path to equitable economic recovery and resurgence.

One of the Action Plan’s proposals is to “create a world-class network of public space in Midtown” that will increase the area’s value as a destination that spurs economic growth. To this end, the proposal recommended “making Fifth Avenue from Bryant Park to Central Park a vibrant corridor for pedestrians by expanding sidewalks, improving lighting, and adding more seating.”

Map showing Fifth Avenue from Bryant Park to Central Park

Future of Fifth Partnership

To realize the Action Plan’s recommendation, the city established a Future of Fifth public-private partnership between Chief Public Realm Officer Ya-Ting Liu, NYCEDC, NYC DOT, and NYC Parks, and Fifth Avenue Association, Grand Central Partnership, Central Park Conservancy, and Bryant Park Corporation.

The Future of Fifth partnership will advance the transformation of the Fifth Avenue corridor from Bryant Park to Central Park through street and public realm improvements that prioritize pedestrians by widening sidewalks and incorporating seating, trees, plantings, sustainability measures, and spaces for gathering, community interaction and public space activation.

Accessible and improved public realm helps drive New York City’s economy and plays a central role in building neighborhoods across the five boroughs that are 24/7 live, work, play, and learn.

Andrew Kimball
NYCEDC President & CEO

Developing a Comprehensive Plan

The Future of Fifth partnership has selected an expert team of engineering, planning, and design consultants to work with the partnership to develop a public-facing Comprehensive Plan to envision the corridor’s future. The plan will include an analysis of current conditions along this portion of Fifth Avenue, and a conceptual design driven by public and stakeholder engagement.

The consultant team is led by Arcadis, Sam Schwartz, Field Operations, and Public Works Partners and supported by Gehl, BJH Advisors, SiteWorks, JKMuir, Tillotson Design, Toscano Clements Taylor, MFS Engineers and Surveyors, Gallas Survey Group, Introba, and TYLin/Silman.

Following the release of the Comprehensive Plan in mid-2024, the Future of Fifth partnership and consultant team will advance a schematic design that will enable implementation of the transformation of this portion of Fifth Avenue. An ultimate schematic design is anticipated to be completed in early 2025.

What’s Next

On October 10, 2023, the Future of Fifth partnership announced the launch of the Comprehensive Plan process, and the selection of the consultant team. Read the press release.

Details about upcoming public events to share ideas and feedback about current conditions along Fifth Avenue and conceptual redesigns will be shared here. Stay tuned and sign up for project updates.

Related Documents
  • Making New York Work for Everyone Action Plan “New” New York Panel