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Union Square - NY

Union Square Partnership Sees the Recovery as it Happens

Union Square Partnership used Replica to understand the scope of economic recovery in its business district during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The Union Square Partnership is a non-profit organization in New York City devoted to supporting economic development for Union Square, a key commercial and transit hub in Manhattan. The area felt the early impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic as people stopped traveling and spending in the area, but one year later there were strong signs of recovery. Union Square Partnership wanted to understand people’s travel and spending patterns during the pandemic so it could better evaluate and communicate the recovery.


To create a commercial market report for residents and businesses in their constituency, Union Square Partnership needed recent and historical data at a hyperlocal level that included detailed information about trips and consumer spending.


Using the Trends tool, Union Square Partnership was able to focus on insights specifically for the census tracts it serves. It could also focus on the specific date range it was interested in: from just before the pandemic to one year later, March 2020 to March 2021. It wanted to see what happened with a couple of data points over the course of that year, including consumer spending and the number of trips made to its census tracts.

Key Insight & Impact

The pandemic has demonstrated the need to understand cities in real time rather than waiting weeks or months for key data to roll in. Union Square Partnership learned that retail spending in its area was up 74% over March 2020 lows, and total trips across all mobility to the area were up 57%. Replica’s Trends data made it clear that Union Square was resilient and that it still had high potential to attract residents, jobs, and investment well into the future. The team shared these findings in a 2021 economic development report.