3×3 animated Lower Manhattan’s Financial District using placemaking strategies to develop a district brand, digital interface, and wayfinding system to cultivate a work/play environment that extends consumer stay time, attracts New York City’s young professionals to the area, and encourages social connectivity and community building.
The Downtown Alliance of New York sought to animate one of Lower Manhattan’s most important commercial corridors and its extension of privately-owned public spaces. The client wanted to establish wayfinding, highlight amenities, and reinforce area identity for a larger Water Street planning vision that strengthens the corridor’s connections to Manhattan’s historic core and waterfront, encourages street life, and extends multi-purpose activities.
3×3 developed a public space pop-up series to revitalize a Hurricane Sandy afflicted area and harness Water Street’s latent corridor assets to cultivate community, attract and retain creative and tech (TAMI) companies, and invite new visitors to the area. The goal was to establish physical connectivity and transform public perception of a lackluster business corridor into a complete district that promotes social interaction. Our team developed summer public space programming that harnessed team competition and nostalgia for childhood street games to bring people back onto the streets.
The project team conducted a behavioral mapping study and interviewed targeted demographics to understand desires and current perception of the area. 3×3 uncovered area assets, identified “universal” cultural components for branding , and incorporated cultural iconography into the brand strategy to maximize design value and facilitate wayfinding through signage and digital mapping. The purpose was to use the playfulness of street games and team competition to encourage lighthearted social interaction.
3×3 understood need for “surprise and delight” and conceptualized a public space identity, wayfinding system, and programming series that blended digital technology with real space branding to drive group participation and social interaction. The project team designed a responsive web platform to enhance the Game On! brand, catalogue events, and expand reach to a larger New York audience.
Post-project survey results showed exclusively positive responses (100% of the 398 responses). Dominant feedback encouraged client to expand the Game On! series and future program activities. The project’s marketing and branding reached 60% of those surveyed.
The client’s target demographic was engaged, and the majority of program participants:
Work on Water St. (77%)
Work in a TAMI (48%)
Age 25- 33 (37%)
Age 34-44 (27%)