PlanPhilly

Public Space

    • The redesigned Walnut Street Bridge has wider sidewalks, better pedestrian lighting, and (soon) a buffered bike lane. Construction will be finished this week.

Planning Commission takes a small stand for the sidewalk

“Sidewalks, their bordering uses, and their users, are active participants in the drama of civilization versus barbarism in cities.” - Jane Jacobs Expeditious but inviting, leaderly but democratic, and with a…

    • Schuylkill River Boardwalk. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

USA TODAY’s 10Best: Schuylkill River Trail wins Readers’ Choice award for best urban trail

The Schuylkill River Trail is the Circuit’s longest trail and the region’s most heavily used multi-use, recreation and commuter trail. A panel of travel and outdoor recreation experts nominated 20 trail…

    • South Street 2015 / Aversa PR

Streets Department unveils new online block party application

Sound a Silent Alarm and get ready for A Weekend in the City full of hot dogs, bouncy castles, and summer jams: The Streets Department just made it easier to apply…

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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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