Making Privately Owned Public Spaces in New York City More Accessible by Mapping Them

A new map shows where privately owned public spaces are located to encourage more public use.

1 minute read

September 22, 2018, 9:00 AM PDT

By Camille Fink

In 1961, New York City started its program for privately owned public spaces (POPS), which gave private developers bonus floor area or waivers in exchange for providing and maintaining publicly accessible spaces on their properties. Over 550 of these POPS exist in the city today, with most located in Manhattan. However, the number of POPS in other boroughs throughout the city is increasing.

Although POPS are available for the public to use, the city has found that they are not as accessible as they should be. “While the city is home to hundreds of POPS, most people are unaware of their existence or location, and in many cases buildings were found to be in violation of the POPS laws, and restrict access to the public,” reports Tanay Warerkar.

To better inform the public, the New York City Department of City Planning has put together an interactive map of the city’s POPS. In addition to each site’s location, the map details amenities, hours of access, and information about the building. Today’s POPS are mainly public plazas and arcades, and the city hopes that more awareness of these urban spaces will lead to an increase in their use.

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