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Public Space

The Time To Save Our NYC Parks Is Now

Mark Ruffalo | Posted 06.04.2015 | New York
Mark Ruffalo

What makes a park a park? Ordinarily, that might be a question for a New York dinner party. Today, it is an urgent legal question before the New York Court of Appeals. As a Villager, I'm naturally concerned that any of our local parks could be wiped out to make way for more construction. Overall, our city is park-starved.

6 Ways to Make New York City Parks Safer

Jennifer S. Hirsch | Posted 05.01.2015 | New York
Jennifer S. Hirsch

New Yorkers can sleep well again, knowing that a coyote seen roaming the city has been tranquilized and captured. However, I confess that I am not really all that relieved.

Racing Together, Starbucks and Fast Food Space

Stephen Kuusisto | Posted 06.09.2015 | Impact
Stephen Kuusisto

One thing my friends of color and my pals with disabilities (and yes, sometimes they're the same) know is that nowadays there are more gated spaces in the US than ever.

I Am An Introvert, Leave Me Alone!

Olga Mecking | Posted 05.16.2015 | Women
Olga Mecking

Just because I don't smile doesn't mean that I am unhappy. It just means that I am thinking about something that I consider important. It means that I am trying to find some space for myself in a public place.

Soundscapes and Our Sense of Belonging

Kim Haines-Eitzen | Posted 04.08.2015 | Religion
Kim Haines-Eitzen

Sounds are also not a cultural universal: music for one person may be noise to another; the sound of thunder may frighten some and be soothing to others; the call of the adhan may be "grating and annoying" to some and "beautiful" to others.

Activists Create Subversive 'Dream Pods' For Homeless To Highlight Poor Living Conditions

The Huffington Post | Robbie Couch | Posted 02.02.2015 | Impact

It's not a coincidence that several homeless people in Tuscon, Arizona, have chosen a highly trafficked park downtown to stake their territory. To ...

The Lowline: Bright Lights (Video)

Crane.tv | Posted 03.25.2015 | Arts
Crane.tv

In the modern city, space, as any over zealous estate agent will gleefully tell you, is at a premium.

There Was a 'High Line' Before the Famous Elevated Park in NYC

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 09.13.2014 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

New York's City's hugely successful and justly celebrated High Line wasn't the first elevated urban railroad bed to be converted into a much-loved linear park.

Design Out of Reach: The Best Way to Shoo Homeless People Away

Joel John Roberts | Posted 08.22.2014 | Impact
Joel John Roberts

When I was in architecture school, the design projects to which we were assigned typically related to creating spaces or products that were to benef...

Can Biking and Walking Save Lives in Cities in the Global South?

Josephine d'Allant | Posted 08.13.2014 | Impact
Josephine d'Allant

Sidewalks, bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, parks, and green areas are all pieces of a complex puzzle to help citizens navigate their city safely and sustainably.

Undermining 'Underpants Man'

Roz Warren | Posted 06.02.2014 | Fifty
Roz Warren

If a Wellesley college student, walking across campus, spots a man her father's age wearing nothing but underpants, stumbling along, eyes closed and arms outstretched, she can call the police on her call and they'll be there in two minutes to remove him.

Learning Los Angeles: Aaron Paley Founder of CicLAvia, "I'm So Excited About Living Here!"

Cathy Weiss | Posted 05.28.2014 | Los Angeles
Cathy Weiss

Aaron Paley of CicLAvia is a San Fernando Valley kid who knew there was more to LA than his suburban neighborhood. He grew up organizing family festi...

2013 a Year for Green Accomplishments: Looking Ahead as New Mayors Take the Helm

Adrian Benepe | Posted 01.16.2014 | Green
Adrian Benepe

If 2013 was the "year of the bike share," will 2014 see continued growth in both the number of bikes and riders? Or will the novelty wear off and costs go up?

How the Urban Poor Are Reclaiming Public Space

Josephine d'Allant | Posted 01.23.2014 | Impact
Josephine d'Allant

Whether with the help of a superhero, a photo festival, better urban planning and communication, or through a basketball tournament, these initiatives show how the urban poor in the Global South can reclaim the public space that belongs to them.

Green Infrastructure: Cities Across the Nation Become More Resilient (Part III)

Adrian Benepe | Posted 12.03.2013 | Green
Adrian Benepe

A number of American cities are looking at innovative and creative ways to develop new park land for their residents in projects which can also help protect their local streams and rivers from the type of dirty water and even raw sewage overflow caused by heavy rainfalls.

Green Infrastructure: The Design Element (Part II)

Adrian Benepe | Posted 11.25.2013 | Green
Adrian Benepe

These hyper-performing landscapes are tiny by park standards, but they bring beauty to formerly barren corners, serve as mini habitats for insects and birds, and most of all, soak up storm water.

Markets Bring Greens to Consumers, Greenbelts to Cities, Green to Farmers

Adrian Benepe | Posted 10.29.2013 | Green
Adrian Benepe

In cities across the country, the end of summer brings throngs to the revived urban famers markets that have become part of the quality of life of many neighborhoods.

Pushing Privatized "Partnership" Agenda at New York City's Public Parks -- Part 3

Cathryn Swan | Posted 10.19.2013 | New York
Cathryn Swan

People are against parks being privatized, the commercialization and sanitizing of our parks, the overarching corporate influence on these public spaces, the public increasingly being denied access to their commons, the resulting lack of transparency and accountability, and so much more.

The Ecology of Public Space: From Uhuru to Taksim

Mia MacDonald | Posted 09.07.2013 | World
Mia MacDonald

As public space has become increasingly privatized and commercialized, such green space reminds people that they're citizens and rights-bearers, and not merely consumers and logo-wearers.

How POPS Changed My Life

Nancy Slotnick | Posted 07.21.2013 | New York
Nancy Slotnick

I discovered that Matchmaker Café and public space had a lot in common. My philosophy in my dating business is that people have to connect in the real world, out in the public domain.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Rob Hiaasen | Posted 06.26.2013 | Fifty
Rob Hiaasen

Here's the self-inflicted curse of writing: Everywhere writers look or land, there is better writing. I'll prove it.

Privatization of the Commons in Mayor Bloomberg's New York -- Part II: Who Has Control?

Cathryn Swan | Posted 06.26.2013 | New York
Cathryn Swan

These three New York City parks -- Bryant Park, Madison Square Park, and Union Square Park - all have slightly different structures running them. What they have in common is their corporate makeup.

Privatization of the Commons in Mayor Bloomberg's New York - Part I

Cathryn Swan | Posted 06.15.2013 | New York
Cathryn Swan

Mayor Michael Bloomberg did not invent the concept of the "public-private partnership." But he has aggressively pushed "private money" within the New York City Parks system, particularly under former Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, who left last year.

Fall and Rise of Great Public Places

Jay Walljasper | Posted 10.10.2012 | Green
Jay Walljasper

The spots we share together--parks, streets, sidewalks, squares, trails, markets, waterfronts, beaches, museums, community gardens, public buildings and more--are the primary sites for human exchange, upon which our communities, economy, democracy and society depend.

Times Square Desert-Scape

Gabrielle Selz | Posted 06.18.2012 | Arts
Gabrielle Selz

The place, ablaze with lights and crowds, just begs to be turned into an art arena. It's the exact opposite of a serene gallery or museum space. And it absolutely requires a display that reveals this dilemma. How to grab and hold a viewer's attention amid all that hustle?