PlanPhilly

Public Space

    • Boardwalk on the Schuylkill

How the "boardwalk' creates new connectivity

It's a glorious fall day and you have a breakfast meeting at 15th and Walnut. But your office is in the University of Pennsylvania Health complex. You usually count on the…

    • Swooping | Steve Ives

LENS: Dilworth Park

The keen-eyed members of our Flickr group seem captivated by the new Dilworth Park – from its swooping glassy transit entrances to the fountain’s effect on the smooth granite. Click through…

    • Andrew Langsam's three-story, 19th-century twins represent the flash point between the owner and the local civic group. (Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks)

Roxborough curb-cut controversy riles community group

It all comes down to a curb cut and a paved-over yard, but this story is really about how things get done in the city of Philadelphia. On a steep block…

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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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