Building a neighborhood network

What’s a neighborhood? A street to live? A place we shop? Our space to play? It’s a diverse human network of community built on relationships, shared pride, and mutual respect. Today, this is under threat. We want to ignite common-unity to strengthen the fabric of our neighborhoods.

Why are we doing this?

As 2020 progressed and the pandemic’s economic pain spread across the city, no neighborhood stands unaffected.With local businesses continuing to close and more restaurants shuttering, being residents and independent business owners, we felt an urgency to act and asked ourselves these three questions:

  • Should we start a rallying cry to residents to support local retailers and restaurants?
  • Could we galvanize local businesses to collaborate to reward residents for their loyalty?
  • Would it be possible to ignite new levels of community spirit in 2021 and beyond?
Our answer; why not try, and Back The Neighborhood was born.

We are unsure where this fledgling local initiative will go, but if residents and business owners join us in this socio-economic experiment, we could change the Neighborhood’s fortunes.
Change takes unity; common-unity. To buy local and think twice before placing an online order. To consider choosing to pick-up over ordering a restaurant delivery. To be open to new models of commercial collaboration and incentives.
It could be time to radically reimagine the Neighborhood. Like we have been told many times since Covid struck, we are all in this together

Our Neighborhoods have always been in a state of perpetual reinvention and motion. Since 9/11, the Global Financial Crash, Sandy and now Covid, our city and neighborhoods have weathered the challenges and remained New York tough. 2020 may have delivered the biggest shock to our city system but for those of us that remain steadfast in our conviction that the greatest city on the planet will emerge stronger and better, now is the time to pull together. As long time residents and business owners we must do more than stand by. We have a moral duty to start the conversation around what the future neighborhoods should be, how we thrive together as interdependent communities supporting each other’s endeavors and sustaining our local environment. We invite residents to sign up, join our movement to ensure the West Village sets the future standard of what a neighborhood means in New York and beyond

'New York is the composite of tens of thousands of tiny neighborhood units'

E. B. White 1947

How this started

Soho, Tribeca, Chelsea, the East Village, Lower East Side, Chinatown, Greenwich Village are more than just names that designate the boundaries of Manhattan’s districts; these neighborhoods define the character and craft the cultural capital of the city. However, none can match the iconic status of the West Village.
It started well before the Covid pandemic. We began to witness changes to our neighborhood. Locals being driven out by rising prices. Foreign property investors buying apartments to leave them vacant. Retail rents forcing long-time local landmark stores and restaurants to close. And then Covid, the great accelerator. 
We had a choice. Sit back on our stoop and complain or get up and start to push back and rally the local population around our shared mission. 

Our mission

We want to build a neighborhood network – not a social network.
A network-based on trust and empathy.
United in our diversity, sharing stories seldom told.
To ignite our community spirit.
Create connections where there were none.
Share knowledge and wisdom.
Be inclusive and open.
Invite allegiance to what is local.
Support our stores, artisans, restaurants, and bars.
Remind us that what is local is vital
Reward collective loyalty
Help the hard-working and assist those in need
Alleviate alienation
Come together and celebrate our collective creativity
Cultivate new trade, ideas, and initiatives
Build bonds between us
And like our past generations
Become a beacon of hope for the future
Unite stakeholders to collectively address the most pressing of challenges.
Protect the integrity of the village.
Our village.
To create a true neighborhood network.
It’s time to Back The Neighborhood

Join the movement

We are seeking residents of the village to sign up and commit to back the neighborhood. Over the coming weeks we will be working with local retailers and restaurants to explore ways to reward local residents for their loyalty, to form a new community council to work on new neighborhood initiatives and to drive deeper local cooperation between residents, retailers,  restaurants and small businesses.
If you care about the resilience of our unique neighborhood please sign our form and we’ll keep you informed of our progress.