PlanPhilly

Public Space

    • A couple poses at Love Park in February.

LOVE Park? More like loathe park! Criticisms mount as JFK Plaza slowly reopens.

It’s an iconic shot, a photo taken by numerous Philadelphians, millions of visitors, and countless brides and grooms. The subjects stand in front of Robert Indiana’s LOVE Statue as a geyser-like fountain…

    • Shani Akilah Robin, one of the estimated fifty that gathered inside the Starbuck near Rittenhouse square on Monday morning, to protest the recent arrest at that location. (Bastiaan Slabbers/For WHYY)

Where have all the public bathrooms gone?

By Charles Ellison It's been 11 days since Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested for waiting while Black at a Rittenhouse Square Starbucks. In that time, the manager who called…

    • The scene has quieted down at the Rittenhouse Starbucks where two black men were arrested on April 12. (Jim Saksa/ WHYY)

Rittenhouse Starbucks patron: "We should all be able to... get a cup of coffee or sit down."

The rhythm of daily commerce has resumed at Starbucks at 18th and Spruce Streets, where the filmed arrest of two black men eight days ago launched another round of the nation’s…

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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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