Public Space

    • Waterloo Playground, October 2016

Waterloo Playground's revival takes off with Urban Roots / MTWB support

Community work is paying off at Waterloo Playground. The once-unsafe public space in West Kensington has seen a turnaround in recent years, and more change is in store. Last year, Waterloo…

    • Emerald Street Urban Farm has taken root on five vacant lots in East Kensington.

Neighborhood Gardens Trust targets preservation for 28 more gardens

The preservation of community gardens and open spaces located in five areas of the city – Kensington, South Philadelphia, Mantua/Belmont, East Germantown/West Oak Lane and Tioga/Hunting Park/Fairhill – will be a…

    • Who will it take to get Mifflin Square rebuilt? Park Powers poster | Catalina Jaramillo / PlanPhilly

Reimagining Mifflin Square Park in 21 languages

In Thoai Nguyen‘s dreams, Mifflin Square Park, a vibrant but tired park in Southeast Philadelphia, has a turf field for kids to play soccer, a rebuilt basketball court, new playground equipment…



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.



Logging in via Facebook

Log in

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Which weekly emails would you like to receive?