CUE – the Committee for Urban Entrepreneurship – is an entrepreneur led initiative of the Municipal Art Society of New York.

Goals + Desired Outcomes

CUE works with entrepreneurs and independent business owners to influence polices and development patterns to strengthen New York City’s economic resilience and livability. CUE advocates for urban policies and leadership that strengthen the city’s economic resilience and livability by specifically focusing on the ways in which the spatial city – how it is planned, designed, zoned, and regulated – impacts the entrepreneurial and economic ecosystems.


Diversity and Resilience

Economic resilience is dependent on a diverse economy, consisting of varied types of companies and services, which together form many ecosystems of innovation, exchange, production, and job growth. City economies overly dependent on single industries risk sudden declines as global factors change, and narrow the range of employment options so vital to supporting a flexible workforce. A diverse city economy is adaptive and flexible to new challenges and opportunities, and provides many different kinds of economic and social opportunity for innovators and problem solvers seeking places to develop new products and services, and a market to test them.



Entrepreneurial ecosystems in New York need to include affordable and flexible working spaces, reliable infrastructure and transportation networks, attractive and accessible public places, and welcoming business districts and neighborhoods with distinct identities and cultures that suit entrepreneurial ventures and lifestyles. City investments in dynamic spaces and amenities like parks, libraries, and community facilities that serve a public purpose –– the civic commons –– make cities more attractive to investors, small businesses and start-ups, which depend on the stimulation and interactions of different people as potential employees, partners and consumers.

Tactics + Strategies

CUE is specifically focused on the way in which the spatial city – how it is planned, designed, zoned and regulated – impacts the entrepreneurial environment.


Rules and Regulations

Overly complicated regulations, licensing requirements, and red-tape inhibit entrepreneurial activity and the growth of small businesses. How can our regulatory approaches be made more transparent and comprehensible, removing bureaucratic barriers to start ups and growth? Are there rules that can be simplified, or even removed from the books to stimulate innovation? What are entrepreneurs looking for in assembly, office, commercial and retail space, and how can our regulatory environment be modified to accommodate them?


Land-use, Zoning and the Built Environment

Zoning that prohibits businesses from operating in certain parts of the city is outdated, and should no longer impede the spread of entrepreneurial activity in any part of the city, particularly those areas where economic development is stalled, and entrepreneurial activity would be welcomed. What has the impact of the zoning changes to city neighborhoods over the last decade had on entrepreneurial activity? This includes neighborhoods where the pressures of new development continue to threaten the fate of older buildings, which are cheaper to run and rent and often offer an aesthetic appealing to today’s entrepreneurs, as well as those parts of the city where new businesses are lacking.