Urban Fold

A Call to Revamp POPS

New York City's privately-owned public spaces are back on the radar since protesters took over Zuccotti Park last month. Remnants of good-intentioned zoning that didn't quite do enough, the spaces are often far more lackluster than occupier-worthy.

"On paper, it reads like a great deal that, at little cost to the city, has given it enough additional public space to cover 10 percent of Central Park.

But the comparison between privately owned public spaces and Central Park stops there. Too many of them - roughly 40 percent, according to a 2000 study I conducted with the Department of City Planning and the Municipal Art Society and that still holds today - were and are practically useless, with austere designs, no amenities and little or no direct sunlight. Roughly half of the buildings surveyed had spaces that were illegally closed or otherwise privatized."

Full Story: Meet Me at the Plaza

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