PlanPhilly

Public Space

    • Rendering of Headhouse plaza looking north from parking (Art Commission, June 2017) | Ambit Architecture

Art Commission approves public space expansion at Headhouse Square

The long-awaited renovation of the Headhouse Plaza on 2nd Street inched closer to implementation Wednesday, receiving the approval of the Art Commission. There has been talk for decades of redesigning the…

    • 36th and Lancaster trolley bench installed by UCD.

Aiming for inclusive public spaces, University City District bucks defensive design trends

University City District covers one of the blessed corners of Philadelphia. There’s little blight or crime for the special services district to contend with. Job growth can fairly be described as…

    • Nebinger school yard, May 2017

Bedlam over basketball and extended hours at Nebinger Elementary's schoolyard

Thursday night’s assembly about renovations of the schoolyard at George W. Nebinger Elementary School in Queen Village proves that any community meeting in Philadelphia, no matter the topic, can easily become…

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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

  • Jul 13, 2017
  • Aug 10, 2017
  • Sep 14, 2017
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