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Shuai Ren’s internship is with the NYCDOT Planning and Sustainability Division. It consists of several projects including Pop-up Cafés, City Benches, Play streets, and other data analyzing work. Her main responsibility will be to assist in the evaluation of a pilot program for pop-up cafes currently underway in Lower Manhattan and the launching of a more permanent program. Shuai will also contribute to the NYCDOT Public Benches Program to locate benches along transit routes by evaluating potential locations and assisting with public outreach.

Additional information on Project Descriptions

(1) Pop-up Cafés Pop-up Cafés provide outdoor public seating in the curb lane during the warm months and promote local businesses. Such cafés are popular in Europe, where narrow sidewalks prevent sidewalk cafés, and have recently been established in California, Pennsylvania, and Canada. In the summer of 2010, DOT partnered with two Lower Manhattan restaurants to pilot the city's first Pop-up Café. Building on this success, DOT expanded the program in 2011 by partnering with three additional restaurants and cafés to establish pop-ups. This program is currently a two year pilot, spanning 2011-2012. In 2011-12, DOT will be evaluating this pilots program’s success and developing and launching the permanent program in the agency.

(2) Public Benches The New York City Department of Transportation’s (NYCDOT) new City Bench program is designed to expand the availability of fixed public seating on New York City streets in order to support transit and walking, and to improve public health and the quality of life in New York City. DOT will coordinate with relevant agencies and city offices, such as the MTA, the Department of the Aging, and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services, as well as community stakeholders to locate benches along transit routes or to provide connections from transit stops to major destinations.

Shuai Ren
Urban Planning