Plaza Event (Civic)

Plaza events sponsored by a nonprofit organization, including but not limited to artistic or cultural performances or educational gatherings that further the mission of the sponsoring organization, are considered civic events and require a SAPO permit. Fees for civic events are discounted from the standard plaza event rates, which are based on plaza tier and event size. Organizations interested in applying for an event on a pedestrian plaza should coordinate with the plaza’s partner organization. A list of Plaza Partners is available for download.


Putnam Plaza, Brooklyn
Community Board 3 meeting at Diversity Plaza: 37th Road, Queens


  • Activates pedestrian plaza
  • Creates a safer and more inviting place for the public to gather
  • Provides access to a variety of cultural, educational, and physical offerings
  • Fosters community-building among neighbors

Scope and Eligibility

  • Commercial events presented by corporate entities are not permitted as part of a civic event and will be charged fees based on the event size, plaza level and location; consult the Plaza Fees page for more information
  • Signs or banners displaying sponsors or supporter logos that exceed ten percent (10%) of the face of the sign or banner are not permitted
  • Must be organized by a documented nonprofit


  • Applications are due to SAPO 14-45 days prior to the event depending on the plaza level. See the Permit Deadlines page for more information
  • A $25 application fee is required
  • Applicant should coordinate with the Plaza Partner organization, and, in some cases, event fees may be waived if the Plaza Partner applies for the permit
  • Applicant must provide a site plan and run of show in addition to other licenses and permits depending on the event’s content
  • Applicant must provide commercial general liability insurance in the amount of $1 million per occurrence naming the City of New York as an additional insured
  • Additional permits or insurance may be required (e.g., amplified sound and 'No Parking' signs require permits from NYPD; structures over 10 feet tall require a permit from DOB)
  • All event permits must be approved by the local precinct and Community Board as part of the SAPO permitting process
  • An event fee may apply for civic events that are charitable in nature and have a fundraising component; Consult the SAPO website for more information
  • Events in some pedestrian plazas are prohibited between mid-November and early January due to the DOT Holiday Construction Embargo, consult the DOT Holiday Construction Embargo memo for details

Recommendations and Best Practices

  • Start planning early; getting community buy-in from programming and promotional partners at the beginning is critical to a successful event
  • Provide a wide range of programming options that are accessible to all ages, genders, and abilities
  • Connect programming at the event to local businesses or neighborhood institutions (e.g., pop-up library that promotes the local library; blood pressure screenings outside a local pharmacy)
  • Coordinate your event planning with the Plaza Partner organization
  • Requested locations should be assessed prior to application submission as SAPO does not provide recommendations for locations


Mini food market in a plaza
Mini weekly food market at Myrtle-Wyckoff Plaza: Wyckoff Avenue and Myrtle Avenue, Queens