Virtual event

New York City is seeking to continue its outdoor dining program and make it permanent.  A combination of zoning text amendments (ZTAs) and other new regulations and systems would be needed to make that possible. There are many concerns about the program, its expansion, and what permanent implementation might mean. We will look at some of those issues and how to address them, explore how other cities handle outdoor dining, and address the equity arguments around privatizing public space.

Laura Sewell is a longtime LES resident, director of the East Village Community Coalition (EVCC), and a co-founder of the Loisaida Open Streets Community Coalition (LOSCC), the stewards of the Ave B Open Street. EVCC has long championed the small businesses of the East Village, advocating for retail diversity and supporting the businesses who serve the needs of local residents. LOSCC is a grassroots group stewarding the Ave B Open Street.

Merica May Jensen is an artist, architect, educator, and LES resident. Drawing from her experience as a professional dancer and 10+ years with the interdisciplinary design studio Diller Scofido + Renfro, she strives to explore the role of architecture as social choreographer and agent. Her recent projects around gender equity, climate change, affordable housing, public space, and race have inspired her to hone her design process and envision an elevated future. More at and

Co-hosted by the East Village Community Coalition and Village Preservation.

Please submit your questions in advance to and we’ll do our best to address them.

Thursday, August 26, 2021
6:00 pm
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