GOOD Design Daily: desigNYC Pairs Designers With Nonprofits

The pro bono design program desigNYC wraps up its first year and is looking for a new crop of designers and nonprofits.

On a chilly, wind-whipped autumn day in the Bronx, Gareth Mahon, a landscape architect at Robin Key Landscape Architecture, walks the uneven, muddy grounds of Serviam Gardens, a new affordable housing development for seniors. Although Serviam Gardens is backed by two incredible nonprofits, Enterprise Community Partners and the Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation, without Mahon's help its grounds probably wouldn't evolve into much more than this bleak landscape—even the most progressive affordable housing projects in New York City fall short of funding when it comes to community and public spaces, says Victoria Hernandez, director of fundraising and public relations for Enterprise Community Partners. "The community spaces are used, but not optimally because they are not designed to maximize the space, nor do they create an environment where people want to come together as a community." So late last year, Enterprise submitted to desigNYC, a new matching program for nonprofits and designers that paired Serviam Gardens up with a pro bono contribution from Robin Key Landscape Architects to help achieve a goal that their limited funding couldn't.

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