PlanPhilly

Public Space

    • The path toward the land buoy and a chart of birds that might be spotted. Photo by Douglas Bovitt for DRWC.

New Pier 53 park opens on the Delaware, near Washington Ave.

The pier where many Philadelphia families first arrived in this country now welcomes visitors from shore as the city's newest riverfront park. Pier 53, located in Pennsport near the intersection of…

    • Spruce Street Harbor Park hammock grove | Matt Stanley, courtesy of DRWC

Pop-up lessons in adaptation and magic

Philly has taken the pop-up bait hook, line and sinker. Or maybe hammock, lantern, and shipping container. We’re hopelessly into these low-cost but high-impact temporary “placemaking” projects that turn underused spots…

    • Dilworth Park

Spotted: 10 Dilworth Details

Last week I hopped on an AIA-organized hardhat tour of the construction site that will soon be known as Dilworth Park, which you may know better as City Hall’s Dilworth Plaza.…

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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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