Public Space

    • On the South Street Bridge | Gary Reed, EOTS Flickr Group

DAGspace: The difference between a bridge and television

In this month's DAGspace, architect Timothy Kerner considers the South Street Bridge's LED lanterns and asks the city to do us one better than the photo-unrealistic dancer sihouettes and Eagles ads.…

    • Public Safety Services Campus | Ballinger

City commissioning new public art at 46th and Market

The long-anticipated conversion of the huge the Provident Mutual Life Insurance Building will also recast the relationship of the 13-acre site to the neighborhood. Designers showed plans for the historic building…

    • Manayunk Bridge from Venice Island | Lindsay Lazarski/Keystone Crossroads

Manayunk Bridge reopens today as a trail, a symbol of a changing economy

Iconic. Ever since it opened in 1918, the Manayunk Bridge has been iconic, a symbol for its namesake section of Philadelphia. “It's one of those things that's always been the symbol…



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.



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