Summit NYC 2012

Privately Owned Public Spaces: Let’s Invigorate the Inventory

Privately Owned Public Spaces: Let’s Invigorate the Inventory: Jerold Kayden and Billie Tsien

New York City’s 1961 Zoning Resolution introduced the concept of Privately Owned Public Space (POPS), allowing developers bonus floor area in exchange for providing spaces for the public within or outside their buildings. There are more than 80 acres of POPS in 520 locations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens that have enormous potential as vibrant public gathering places, but their success relies on the public’s ability to locate these spaces and to know the rules governing their use. Soon, using a web and mobile mapping interface, the public will be able to explore New York City’s POPS and comment on these spaces through the creative use of crowdsourcing techniques. This citizen-centric approach spearheaded by a partnership between MAS and Harvard professor Jerold Kayden will allow for better oversight of these spaces, while ensuring that they are true public amenities. Professor Kayden will present a talk and share his vision for the future of POPS in New York.

On October 18 and 19 at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, more than 1,100 innovative city shapers and thought leaders gathered as the Municipal Art Society presented the third annual MAS Summit for New York City. This forum of ideas surrounding planning, design and infrastructure; preservation and sustainability; arts and cultural development, and community engagement featured more than 90 speakers over the two days and highlighted trailblazing initiatives in New York and other cities across the globe.

To maintain its stature as one of the world’s great global cities, New York City must continue to cultivate opportunity and nurture innovation in all spheres. This year’s Summit themes—Development, Density and Diversity—explored the balancing act of users and uses and the challenge of building a globally competitive city that is socially, economically and environmentally resilient—and livable—for all New Yorkers.

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