Community

Growing Together

Expanding on a long history of partnership between campus and community, the Manhattanville campus plan embraces a wide range of shared benefits with West Harlem, New York City and New York State.

While Columbia has a wide array of long-standing community-based programs and partnerships, the University has joined with the West Harlem Development Corporation and Empire State Development in agreements that invest more than $250 million in new benefits to our community, in addition to the local jobs and economic opportunity provided by the new campus.

Columbia University Community Programs in West Harlem

Community Services

As part of the Manhattanville campus development, Columbia reached a Community Benefits Agreement with the West Harlem Development Corporation and an agreement with the State of New York—“Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions”—committing to a wide range of benefits and amenities for our community.

Benefits We All Share

The new campus plan replaces the postindustrial streetscape of Manhattanville's old manufacturing areas with publicly accessible green space, widened tree-lined sidewalks, retail stores and restaurants that welcome the entire community. From brain science to the arts and business, the new academic centers on campus will feature a wide range of public programming designed for local students, families and businesses.

A campus food fair sponsored by Harlem Park to Park featured a network of local business owners in Central Harlem, in connection with the Columbia University-Harlem Small Business Development Center.

Public Gallery and Performances

The Lenfest Center for the Arts will provide not only film screening and performance spaces, but also a new, public location for Columbia’s Wallach Art Gallery.

Retail Stores

New space at street level for restaurants and stores will serve the community and animate pedestrian life along 125th Street and Broadway.

Community Lectures

The Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute hosts lectures with eminent Columbia researchers whose approaches to the science of brain and mind resonate with public audiences.

Outdoor Landscape

There will be accessible open spaces with paths and public seating. Wide, pedestrian-friendly, landscaped sidewalks will create new connections from Broadway to the West Harlem Piers Park and restaurants along 12th Avenue.

Science Education and Wellness Center

The first floor of the Greene Science Center will feature a brain science education lab for local residents as well as a wellness center for those concerned about neurological disorders.

A Diverse and Local Workforce


Columbia has prioritized employing a qualified, diverse and local workforce, consistently setting ambitious employment and contracting goals. These jobs—and the ones that will employ people after the campus is built—contribute to the kind of meaningful economic opportunity that Columbia is committed to creating in the community.

More than $250 Million
paid to minority-, women- or locally-owned (MWL) construction trade firms operating in Manhattanville since the start of construction in 2008.

More than 1,000,000 Workforce Hours
contributed by MWL construction trade workers—representing 50 percent of the total workforce hours since the start of construction.

* All figures represent nonspecialty construction services and related materials.

I see people from the neighborhood working at this project and laborers who live a couple blocks away. Those opportunities are great to see.Nelson Vega, a painter with DC9 Local 18
News

Watch: A Diverse Construction Workforce Providing Local Jobs and Opportunity

Meet some of the workers who contributed to the construction of the new Manhattanville campus.

Learn more