PlanPhilly

Public Space

    • Members of the Swiss theater troupe Asphalt Piloten take to a Philadelphia street Tuesday evening for a performance of

'Tape Riot': A theater piece that plays off the city's built environment

In “Tape Riot,” a piece of street theater being performed this week as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), a group of European artists drop into town…

    • Stairs up to the Rail Park from the 1100 block of Callowhill, May 2018 / Neal Santos for PlanPhilly

In Common: Rail Park opens, carrying the freight of a changing neighborhood

What does it mean to create a new park in a changing, sometimes contested neighborhood? Next in our series about Philly's changing public spaces, Ashley Hahn takes a deep dive into…

    • LOVE in reverse / Neal Santos for PlanPhilly

In Common: Finding a new LOVE

First up in a series about Philly's changing public spaces, Ashley Hahn heads to LOVE Park looking for love and finds plenty. Hear what Philadelphians using the park think about Center…

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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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