PlanPhilly

Public Space

    • Rhythm & Hues

‘The Oval’ pop-up park returns for a fourth year

The surface parking lot at Eakins Oval on Benjamin Franklin Parkway will once again become “The Oval” pop-up park this summer, the Department of Parks & Recreation announced earlier this month.…

    • Light masts on North Broad (Brad Larrison for NewsWorks)

A tale of two Broad Streets: How Avenue of the Arts splintered

Five years ago, on Temple University’s campus, Avenue of the Arts CEO Karen Lewis stood beside a prototype of a “light mast,” the first of 41 metallic, illuminated poles that line…

    • pop up phs

Keystone Crossroads Video: From parking lot to pop-up garden, tucked beneath the trestle

It's summertime in Philadelphia, which means you’re bound to come across one of the city's trendy beer gardens on a riverfront or rooftop.  One of the newest additions to the…

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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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