PlanPhilly

Public Space

    • William Bess, 19, (center) with his mother and father on their porch in East Mt. Airy. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Temple U cops sued over alleged racial profiling incident

A black Philadelphia college student has filed a federal civil rights complaint against the Temple University Police Department over an alleged May 2017 stop-and-frisk incident. In the filing, plaintiff William Bess…

    • Anastasi Seafood in the Italian Market. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Protecting the Italian Market’s walkability is the goal of new City Council bill

Councilman Mark Squilla is stepping into a fight over a driveway that opponents say threatens the pedestrian nature of the Italian Market. The driveway in question would interrupt 9th Street south…

    • Jane's Walk participants enjoy a guided exploration of Lancaster Avenue during a 2017 walk.

This is your weekend to discover hidden black history, ‘peak songbirds’ and a middle school once associated with utopia

Urbanist darling Jane Jacob’s legacy continues as curious city lovers around the world prepare to take to the sidewalks for Jane’s Walk this weekend to honor the bespectacled activist who died…

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ABOUT PUBLIC SPACE

Public space includes everything from the sidewalk in front of your house, the road on which you drive to work, and the playground in which your child plays on the weekend.  Each of these spaces was designed to achieve specific functions, and some succeed while others fail.  Just like any other part of a city, many different factors explain the success of certain public spaces, and a lot of it is context-specific.  For example, why does Rittenhouse Square always appear to be more lively than Washington Square, even though they are of a very similar size and layout?  Why is Reading Terminal always busting at the seams with people when the Kimmel Center plaza remains empty at times when a show is not playing?  Why are streetscape improvements such as widened sidewalks and street trees the key to unlocking the potential of some commercial corridors and not others?  These questions and more are part of public space planning.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN PUBLIC SPACE

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