Van Alen Institute is dedicated to promoting innovative thinking about the role of architecture and design in civic life. Since its founding in 1894, Van Alen has shaped the public conversation and brought design excellence to sites and cities across the United States and beyond. Its widely influential legacy of competitions includes Public Property: An Ideas Competition for Governors Island (1996), which kicked off an international conversation about Governors Island and its redevelopment as a public resource. The winning entry of TKTS2K: A Competition to Design a New York Icon (1999) was constructed as the iconic TKTS booth in Times Square, reactivating public space at the busiest pedestrian intersection in New York City. Today, Van Alen continues to develop design competitions, research, and public programs that explore the cultural, political, ecological, and economic forces that activate the built environment.