PlanPhilly

Public Space

    • What is your vision for the future? January 17, 2017

Spotted: Philly gets its own sticky-note 'subway therapy' just before Inauguration Day

Just like in the New York City subway, sticky-note messages have started to accumulate on a tile wall in the concourse between Septa’s City Hall Station and Suburban Station. The…

    • Kite and Key / Emma Lee

Proposal to transform base of Ben Franklin Bridge trips at the start

A few years ago, planners from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) approached the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) with an idea: Monument Plaza, the barren concrete pedestal for Isamu Noguchi’s sometimes…

    • reading viaduct city branch

Reuse of the City Branch for transit or trails unlikely, but proposed development isn't to blame

When plans for a new mixed-use development at 15th and Hamilton streets in Spring Garden were posted online in advance of this month’s Civic Design Review, the project caused a stir…

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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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