2023 State of the City

Statement from the Municipal Art Society on the 2023 State of the City Speech by Mayor Adams

January 26, 2023

“Mayor Adams today made clear his commitment to revitalizing public spaces for all New Yorkers. We celebrate his announcement that he will create a new Director of the Public Realm, a role that will move this commitment forward into action,” said Elizabeth Goldstein, President of the Municipal Art Society of New York.

“The first task for the new Director should be developing a citywide plan to ensure all New Yorkers have access to welcoming, vibrant, and safe public spaces. We have a golden opportunity to reimagine our public spaces and how we develop them.

Together with our partners in the Alliance for Public Space Leadership, we have been calling for a Director of the Public Realm for several years. We look forward to working closely with Mayor Adams in the coming months to ensure the city meets this moment.”

Read Elizabeth Goldstein’s op-ed in the Daily News, “Why New York City Needs a Public Realm Maestro,” for more information about what the Director of the Public Realm will do.

  • Cover for the Fight for Light policy brief, A Public Champion for the Public Realm, calling for the Director of the Public Realm. It was published by MAS in August, 2020.
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  • The jumble of key agencies and entities that oversee elements of the public realm. Rendering: MAS.
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  • Report cover for "A Blueprint for Public Real Leadership" published by MAS in January, 2022.
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  • What We Heard: Keywords from our Conversations.
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About the Municipal Art Society of New York

For more than 125 years, the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) has worked to educate and inspire New Yorkers to engage in the betterment of our city. As a non-profit advocacy organization, MAS mobilizes diverse allies to focus on issues that affect our city from sidewalk to skyline. Through three core campaign areas, MAS protects New York’s legacy spaces, encourages thoughtful planning and urban design, and fosters inclusive neighborhoods across the five boroughs.

About the Alliance for Public Space Leadership

The Alliance for Public Space Leadership (APSL) advocates for achieving equitable solutions and effective management of New York City’s public spaces. This public realm (streets, parks, plazas and other aspects of the built environment) is critical to our communities. These spaces support the city’s economic vitality, connect New Yorkers to each other, aid in the health and well-being of city residents, address environmental concerns, and are necessary to the survival of plants and animals.

The Alliance for Public Space Leadership was co-founded by the Municipal Art Society of New York, the American Institute of Architects-New York, Open Plans, and New Yorkers for Parks. These organizations joined together to advocate for new public space leadership in New York City, focused on better planning, investment and management of public spaces, and anchored by the creation of an Office of the Public Realm. Since then, over 50 organizations have joined the Alliance, finding value in the platform to help address issues faced across different neighborhoods. For more information, visit www.publicspace.nyc.

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