Downtown Alliance Unveils the New DowntownNY.com
The Alliance for Downtown New York has launched a new, map-based website, www.downtownNY.com, designed as a Lower Manhattan information portal for visitors, residents and workers in the district.
“From museums and landmarks to restaurants and retailers, Lower Manhattan has so much to offer, and our new website makes finding exactly what you want no more than a click away,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance, which manages the Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District. “The site’s geo-coded maps give users a new way to search Lower Manhattan and plan their experience. Whether you’re an employee hankering for an Italian lunch spot, a resident looking for the perfect gift, a business traveler in need of a hotel, or a weekend visitor wondering what the cultural scene has to offer, www.downtownny.com is the premier web destination for all things Lower Manhattan.”
Visitors to the site will be able to search a comprehensive list of neighborhood events and a variety of amenities ranging from dry cleaners to Thai restaurants; event spaces to tourist attractions. All search results are displayed on maps using geo-coded data pulled from the Alliance’s extensive database of local events, retailers and attractions.
Also useful for those in the area is the Alliance’s social media network, which includes frequently updated Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr accounts. Alliance Twitter and Facebook feeds, updated weekdays with news, events, deals, photos and more, can be viewed in real time on the home page.
While the site is designed chiefly as a guide to Lower Manhattan, information about Downtown Alliance initiatives, such as the free Wi-Fi hotspots and Downtown Connection bus system, the Hive at 55 coworking facility, the Re:Construction public-art program, and community planting events, is more easily searchable than before. The site also prominently displays the Alliance’s research. For example, a new statistic—say, the number of firms that have relocated to Lower Manhattan or the number of residential buildings in the district—appears on the homepage each time it’s loaded, and the organization’s research reports are more accessible and better-organized. Plus, a new Facts and Figures section distills many of the Research Department’s most salient findings onto one page.
Every page of the site includes two navigation menus to help guide users. A top menu is organized into “Things to Do,” “Getting Around,” and “Working and Living;” those categories are meant to clearly usher users around the site. A second navigation menu allows site visitors to quickly search for nearby events, attractions or amenities and locate results on a map.
The site was created by I-Site, a comprehensive Web design firm.
On a broader scale, the site is designed to meet the needs of Lower Manhattan’s 305,000 workers, and growing tourism and residential populations. The number of tourists below Chambers Street was 9 million in 2010, up from 7 million in 2008, according to Downtown Alliance research. City tourism officials expect that number to increase when the National September 11 Memorial & Museum opens on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. And, the residential population has increased has grown 170 percent in the past decade to 56,000.
“Lower Manhattan’s growing population of workers, residents and visitors need a top-notch, one-stop destination for information about the district,” Berger said. “Now, they’ve got one.”