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#whOWNSpace “Privately Owned Public Spaces, abbreviated as “POPS”, are an amenity provided and maintained by a developer for public use, in exchange for additional floor area.”


For Your Enjoyment and Safety the following are prohibited:

― New York City Department of City Planning

Sleeping Alcoholic Beverages Panhandling, soliciting or distributing leaflets Excessive packages, carts, bicycles, skateboards, and scooters Conducting Commercial business Gambling Audible music, radios, or stereos Smoking Disruptive Behavior Inappropriate Attire Littering

What happens as more and more land in the city is owned by private entities? Will we all be welcome? To what extent will these spaces remain public? What avenues will the public have through which to request changes?


City zoning rules set in 1961 incentivized the creation of privately-owned public spaces. Hundreds were built by private developers in exchange for air rights. Not surprisingly, many are concentrated near the bases of New York City’s towering financial institutions. Due to concessions, open air POPS are required to remain open 24 hours. Zuccotti Park, put back on the map by Occupy Wall Street, shows how the potential of a space can be reinterpreted, and selectively enforced rules can be challenged.

400m Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) 400m walking radius

Institution of Private Funding Major Bail-out Bank HQ

POPS Density

Citigroup World HQ- Park Ave & 53rd St Wells Fargo NYC HQ- Park Ave & 52nd St JP Morgan Chase World HQ- Park Ave & 48th St Morgan Stanley World HQ- Broadway & 48th St Bank of America NYC HQ- 6th Ave & 42nd St

Emigrant Bank (NYPBT) HQ- 5th Ave & 42nd St

UES (Community District 6) 6th Ave & 42nd St

Center of Financial Control Park Ave & 42nd St

1095 Avenue of the Americas

Philip Morris Arcade Goldman Sachs HQ- West St & Vessey St BNY Mellon World HQ- Broadway and Wall St

1% WE OWN U private and financial space

Midtown (Community District 5)

#whownspace @dsgnagnc | @naa_nyc | @dotankbrooklyn



New York City Parks

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”

Welcome to your park. This is a shared public space provided for your enjoyment and recreation.

― Jane Jacobs The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Park rules prohibit:

Littering and dumping of debris Smoking within the park Barbecuing, except in designated areas Unleashed dogs, except in designated areas Using illegal drugs and alcohol Feeding birds and squirrels Entering the park after it is closed Solicitation and obstructing entrances Amplifying sound, performing and rallying, engaging in commercial activity, and vehicles, except by permit

One of the most important features of a city is its public spaces. Beyond mere parks these collectively-owned spaces are where democratic principles meet the spatial realm. Yet today there is a question of just how truly public these spaces are.

This Park Closes At: 10pm City of New York

Parks & Recreation

New York City Parks & Recreation has established a guiding set of rules that govern public open space. For example, Hours of Operation are 6am- 1am (unless otherwise noted) although, it is very rare to find a park open until 1am. As in many cases, the stated intent of the law often becomes removed from the situations surrounding its actual enforcement. Our purpose is to question how these rules are serving the public.

400m Public Park 400m walking radius

Institution with Public Open Space Holdings

Department of Parks and Recreation - 5th Ave & 64th St

Public Park Density

With whom does the power lie, the governing body of the parks, or the people?

Bryant Park-

6th Ave & 42nd St

Bryant Park is a publicly owned park that is actually managed by a private corporation. It is the largest effort in the nation to apply private management backed by private funding to a public park. How has this been successful and how does this method prove to maintain its public ownership?

Lower East Side (Community District 3)

Center of Civic Control

Department of Planning - Reade St & Broadway Department of Education- Chambers St & Broadway

Department of Small Business Services- William St & Beaver St

Financial District (Community District 1)

Department of Transportation- Water St & Coenties Slip


publicly owned space

#whownspace @dsgnagnc | @naa_nyc | @dotankbrooklyn

#whOWNSpace WEOWNU maps  

Maps of Power and the Commons in NYC

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