Category Archives: Design

POPS Quiz: Evaluating NYC’s “Public” Spaces

180 Fifth Avenue

By Minna Ninova

An urban area as densely built and crowded as Manhattan can be an exhausting place to live or work. Finding a place to rest, relax and catch your breath is essential for staying sane, which is one reason the borough’s public spaces are so highly valued. It’s also one of the reasons the city’s zoning code allows for the creation of so-called Privately Owned Public Spaces or POPS – plazas, arcades, sidewalk widenings, open air concourses, covered pedestrian spaces, and through block arcades – that are provided and maintained by a developer for public use, in exchange for additional floor area. Since their introduction in 1961, the standards governing the city’s POPS have evolved to require a variety of amenities, from simple seating to lighting, accessibility and aesthetic value. Continue reading

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Dance, Play, Recycle in Valparaiso

Recycling has never been this fun. This past January, the beautiful seaside city of Valparaiso Chile celebrated music, dance, culture and community with the Festival of the Arts. One of the stand-out events of the Festival was the unveiling of a Recycling Plaza designed by Ciudad Emergente (Emerging City (CEM)) and commissioned by the National Cultural Art Council (CNCA).

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OpenCity Weekly Review

Here’s our weekly review rounding up the best stories and ideas in public space from cities around the world. This week we bring you articles focused on how  to create and maintain one of the world’s most liveable cities, Los Angeles’ healthy parklets and how citizens created an entire city within an abandoned building.
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