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Transforming 200 Vacant Storefronts With Grassroots Design

Architect and Lower East Side resident Eric Ho has high hopes for the more than 200 vacant storefronts in his neighborhood, the East Village, and Alphabet City. Through collaborative grassroots design, Ho, co-founder of Architecture Commons, wants to turn these underused spaces into resources that would benefit (but not gentrify) the immediate neighborhood. To do so, he has teamed up with several local groups and designers and launched an initiative called miLES (Made in the Lower East Side). The cleverly named project has chosen two experimental blocks?East 4th Street and Orchard Street?to test their 12-month design and research process. As Bowery Boogie points out, the project sounds similar to what nonprofit No Longer Empty does, but miLES's goals seem to be more permanent and community-driven revitalization.
· Grassroots "miLES" Takes on Vacant Lower East Side Storefronts [Bowery Boogie]
· miLES - Reinvent Your Hood [Scribd]