Tag Archives: privately-owned public spaces

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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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 community spirit is a common theme. We bring you city-wide living rooms in Copenhagen  tranquil green space amid a Los Angeles traffic jam and a guide to New York’s privately owned public spaces.

City-Wide Living Rooms
A 750 meter “superpark” spans the north end of Copenhagen showcasing the multicultural fabric of the city within three colour-coded zones. The intent of the plan was to create a communal space that reflects the cultural make-up of the community.  (Via TrendHunter)

LA Urban Air
Los Angeles-based artist Stephen Glassman transforms billboard advertisements into suspended urban forests with his “Urban Air” project. The existing structure is modified to house the planters along with a water misting system and wifi network that monitors the environment. (Via GOOD)

Privately Owned Public Space
The Municipal Art Society of New York provides a key to the privately owned public space in the city along with an interactive map. The user can search for spaces by address or by selecting a preferred amenity such as seating, food service or artwork. (Via APOPS)

Photo from Jens Rost on Flickr (cc)

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6 1/2 Avenue, New York City

The Manhattan grid in Midtown is a little less rigid this autumn.

The plan for Manhattan’s grid was published in 1811 when most New Yorkers still lived at the very tip of Lower Manhattan. Without respect to topography, the grid divided the island into neat little blocks convenient for development, tidily accommodating the city’s rapid population growth and northward expansion. Except for the monumental subtraction of Central Park, the grid was built out essentially intact over the following two centuries. Continue reading

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