PlanPhilly

Public Space

    • Utility box

Why the Streets Department doesn't put utility boxes underground

One reaction people had to Monday's post on the artfully-decorated utility boxes in Washington Square West and Queen Village was that the dressed up boxes look nicer now, but why do…

    • Utility boxes

Center City's unsightly utility boxes are getting dressed up with public art

I had never noticed the ugly brown utility boxes generously distributed around Center City until I started hanging around Geoff Thompson of the This Old City blog last year, and ever…

    • 12th and E. Passyunk sneckdown

Renderings: Changes coming to E. Passyunk "sneckdown" intersection

A couple weeks ago Albert Stumm at Passyunk Post reported that the traffic calming plan for the intersection of 12th, Morris, and E. Passyunk Ave in South Philadelphia is moving forward,…

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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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