January 3, 2024

NYC wants artists to spice up sidewalk sheds and construction fencing

New York City is seeking artists to help beautify sections of unattractive sidewalk sheds and construction fencing throughout the five boroughs. The city's Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) has issued an open call for artists for 2024 through 2025 as part of its City Canvas program, which installs temporary, large-scale artworks on protective structures to make them more visually appealing.
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July 24, 2023

Adams latest mayor to tackle NYC’s 400 miles of scaffolding with ‘get sheds down’ plan

New York City officials have a plan to remove sidewalks sheds and scaffolding from city streets. Mayor Eric Adams and Department of Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Oddo on Monday revealed "Get Sheds Down," a comprehensive overhaul of the city's scaffolding policies that aim to hastily remove longstanding sidewalk sheds and redesign them to be less intrusive using alternatives like safety netting. Under the new policy, property owners will face bigger fines if their sidewalk sheds occupy space for too long.
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January 13, 2022

The number of sidewalk sheds in NYC has tripled over past two decades

Temporary sidewalk sheds are legally required to be installed at any construction site to protect pedestrians from falling debris. While they are seen as a safety necessity, the structures are eyesores that block sunlight and slow foot traffic. In New York City, the total number of sidewalk sheds has tripled over the past two decades, a new report released this week by the Independent Budget Office found. Looking at data from the Department of Buildings, the report found Manhattan was home to the most sidewalk sheds but noted the outer boroughs are starting to catch up.
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September 19, 2018

City calls on artists to add flair to drab construction fences in two-year pilot program

On September 12, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs announced a search for applicants for a new pilot program called City Canvas, Archpaper reports. The program was designed to beautify New York City’s visual landscape by installing large-scale–and temporary–artwork on its endless construction fences and 270 miles of sidewalk sheds. The protective construction structures are an everyday eyesore for New Yorkers, but current building codes prohibit altering them. The City Canvas program circumvents that ban by allowing select artists and cultural institutions to add visual art to the visual affronts.
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December 6, 2016

New bill could limit sidewalk scaffolding to six months or less

Like an unwanted visitor, well-intentioned but present well after becoming a daily nuisance, New York City's familiar green sidewalk scaffolding seems to contradict the laws of gravity: It goes up but never really seems to come down. Now, the New York Times reports, a new City Council bill would require that scaffolding be taken down after six months–sooner if no work is being done.
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