About Us

This project is organized by the NYC Department of Transportation, Chinatown Partnership, and Van Alen Institute.

New York City Department of Transportation

The New York City Department of Transportation’s mission is to provide for the safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible movement of people and goods in the City of New York and to maintain and enhance the transportation infrastructure crucial to the economic vitality and quality of life of our primary customers, City residents.

With over 5,000 employees, the Department of Transportation oversees one of the most complex urban transportation networks in the world. DOT’s staff manage an annual operating budget of $900 million and a five-year $10.1 billion capital program, along with 6,000 miles of streets and highways, 12,000 miles of sidewalk, and 789 bridges and tunnels, including the iconic East River bridges. Read more.

Van Alen Institute

At Van Alen Institute, we believe design can transform cities, landscapes, and regions to improve people’s lives. Building on more than a century of experience, we develop cross-disciplinary research, provocative public programs, and inventive design competitions to address the most pressing social, cultural, and ecological challenges.

Gateways to Chinatown is one in a series of Van Alen initiatives seeking to create new, design-driven public spaces for cities and communities around the world. Also included in this series is Van Alen Institute’s annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition asking interdisciplinary teams to design and build a highly visible temporary landmark at the heart of the Flatiron District that is the centerpiece of the Partnership’s annual holiday programming; Opportunity Space, an international design-build competition challenging multidisciplinary teams to propose a temporary, mobile structure that will support economic opportunity and social inclusion in Malmö, Sweden; and Crossroads Conversations, a public program series hosted at the base of the Red Steps in Times Square that invites passersby from all walks of life and political convictions to engage in thoughtful dialogue on some of the most pressing issues of our time in an iconic public space. Read more.

Chinatown Partnership

The Chinatown Partnership was formed in 2006 as a new start-up from the ground up to bring residents, business owners and community groups together to rebuild Chinatown following 9/11, and to preserve the neighborhood’s unique culture while ensuring its vitality into the future through strategic positioning.

The Partnership helps promote the area as a special destination to live, work, and visit through the highly-popular Weekend Walks street festival series, Mid-Autumn Festival, annual Beautification/Earth Day, East-West Parade with Little Italy, Double-Seventh Valentine’s Day, Lunar Stages outdoor film screenings, Taste of Chinatown street events, and Explore Chinatown marketing initiative. Read more.

Our Funders

Gateways to Chinatown is made possible by a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Manhattan Borough President’s Office.