Action Alert: NYC Needs a Director of the Public Realm

Join us in calling for a public champion of the public realm

August 19, 2020

The events of this year have reaffirmed that light and air are not fringe amenities. We have turned to our streets, sidewalks, parks, plazas, and playgrounds to stay active, connected (even at a distance), healthy, and safe. We have seen new approaches to managing these spaces, facilitating a more livable city in response to crisis.

Unlike many other major cities, including Paris, Los Angeles, and Boston, New York lacks a central position within its government for planning and maintaining the public realm—an area that represents roughly 40 percent of the city’s land mass.

We need innovative, cross-departmental, and proactive planning of the public realm now and into the future—and we need your help. 

Join us in calling for the creation of a New York City Director of the Public Realm. Use our OneClickPolitics module below to automatically email your Council Member and urge them to call for the appointment of a City-level advocate—Director of the Public Realm—equipped with the staff and resources to monitor, plan, and invest in the health of New York’s public spaces.

Read more about the case for a Director of the Public realm in our policy brief released in partnership with New Yorkers for Parks >

Check in with MAS’s events calendar for more information on our open space series in October > 

graphic of New York City agencies overseeing the city's public realm
The jumble of key agencies and entities that oversee elements of the public realm. Rendering: MAS
guide leads a tour group and holds a Municipal Art Society of New York sign

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