East New York, Brooklyn, is an expansive and vibrant neighborhood, home to a diversity of small business communities. Currently slated for large scale rezoning, reinvestment and affordable housing redevelopment under the Sustainable Communities East New York Plan, the neighborhood has recently come under the public spotlight due to concerns around displacement and gentrification.
In anticipation of this moment, the Identity Design Action: East New York (IDeA: ENY) project seeks to utilize design to empower local small business owners with a voice and enhanced access to support services for business sustainability and resiliency. The goal is to capture the identity of East New York as it exists today, and champion small business owners as the stewards of local identity.
This document summarizes and concludes the design research phase of our project, and aims to understand the stakeholder landscape, while highlighting insights in community needs through the lens of small business owners, and uncover opportunities for a design intervention.
The design intervention is currently being conceived by WSDIA and will collaboratively devise a business empowerment tool developed with key stakeholders for long-term community stewardship. Our project aims to amplify voice and engagement, place-based identity, and local communications for small businesses in East New York.