Creating Great Public Spaces in New York City

museum_mile.jpgProject for Public Spaces just published a great piece of work that is very much worth a download. The paper is called "Nine Ways to Transform New York into a City of Great Places." From the introduction:

In New York, the term "public space" is still synonymous with "parks" in most officials’ minds–and without a doubt, the city’s major parks are top-notch. But any city, let alone one as vast as New York, needs more than a few flagship parks to sustain a thriving public environment. It also needs great plazas, squares, streets, neighborhood parks and community institutions to all function as active, welcoming public spaces.

Although the city is still vibrant in many spots, New Yorkers inhabit a public realm that is a shell of what it could become. Many neighborhood streets and most major avenues are hostile settings for pedestrians; plazas outside major buildings are lifeless and cold; smaller parks, plazas, and squares are poorly maintained; and local institutions such as schools and libraries seldom enjoy the strong public presence they deserve.

These problems are often intertwined. A neighborhood library can’t hold an outdoor book fair, for instance, on a narrow sidewalk next to an unsafe street. Both problems are symptomatic of a broader pattern, in which the shortcomings of one public place undermine the qualities of others in a downward spiral. The only way to get out of this hole is to implement solutions that build off each other. In that spirit, PPS proposes nine steps to transform New York into a city of great places…

Download the report as a PDF file.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Details of the Mayor’s Residential Parking Permit Proposal

|
Potential residential parking permit stickers, curbside regulations, and David Yassky. Here are some more details about the residential parking permit program proposed today by Mayor Bloomberg and DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan: A residential parking permit (RPP) plan will be included in the congestion pricing legislation that will be introduced in the City Council and State […]

Parking it in the Slope

|
In the coming weeks I will be transitioning my blogging over to a new domain: Streetsblog. This new blog, supported by The Open Planning Project, will be covering the New York City Streets Renaissance Campaign on a daily basis. It will include other contributors as well. While the new site is in development, I will […]