To engage with a New York City privately owned public space, use the map, images, or address list.
Find A Pops
ON A POPS
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(Re)Design A Pops
Video a Pops
Propose a POPS Program
Have a pithy comment about a POPS? Please let us know.
Is a POPS closed when it should be open? Are movable chairs missing? You are helping, not squealing, by revealing.
Go to the POPS with the problem, then scroll to the bottom of the page.
Help rate POPS, with five stars for excellent, four for very good, three for good, two for fair, and one for poor.
Go to the POPS you want to rate, then scroll to the bottom of the page.
Be complimentary or critical, serious or whimsical, theoretical or practical, but do it in 500 words or less.
Go to the POPS you want to profile, then scroll to the bottom of the page.
Represent your ideas in plan, sketch, perspective, section, whatever, and maybe the owner will retain you.
Go to the POPS you want to redesign, then scroll to the bottom of the page.
Get your best Berenice Abbott on.
Go to the POPS you want to submit a photo or video of, then scroll to the bottom of the page.
Music, theatre, dance, visual arts, whatever…please let us know your ideas!
APOPS founder Jerold S. Kayden was recently interviewed by Lara Belkind, a PhD candidate in urban planning at Harvard, for FunctionLab, the research arm of Farshid Moussavi Architecture (FMA). During the interview, entitled “Privately Owned Public Space—For Whom, By Whom,” Professor Kayden discusses the functional uses of privately owned public space in New York City, particularly since the publication of his book Privately Owned Public Space: The New York City Experience in 2000. Citing Zuccotti Park as a site of political protest during Occupy Wall Street, he describes how the occupation challenged everyone’s conception about how POPS may be used. He notes that the Zoning Resolution is silent with regard to what user conduct POPS owners may prohibit. What’s interesting, Kayden suggests, is that many of the POPS from the 1960s and early 1970s, bereft of public amenities such as seating or landscaping, present an opportunity to be defined by use rather than design. You can read the full interview here.
Imagine that you were given “responsibility” for stewarding more than 80 acres of prime New York City private real estate that, by law, had to be open to the public. Imagining that role helps define the mission of the collaboration between Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space and the Municipal Art Society (APOPS|MAS). Harvard Professor Jerold S. Kayden, Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space, and the Municipal Art Society have joined forces to offer imaginative stewardship for the city’s 525 or so privately owned public spaces (POPS), those zoning-created plazas, arcades, and other outdoor and indoor spaces located at the street level of many office and residential towers. We believe that a city’s greatness is enhanced by an attractive, usable, and egalitarian public realm. We seek to invigorate POPS by sparking constructive action-producing conversations among city residents and employees, POPS owners, public officials, community board members, civic activists, and anyone else hoping to realize the possibility and promise of privately owned public spaces. Through creative ideas and hard work, we can leverage the good spaces and improve the marginal ones.
APOPS|MAS has an ambitious work program consisting of six elements: (1) Public Information; (2) Programs; (3) Upgrading; (4) Monitoring; (5) Special Projects; (6) Public Policy. Some activities have already commenced, others remain dependent on funding availability. Read more about these six elements here. We invite you to help us in realizing this work program. Contact us if you are interested.
The New York City branch of Huge, the powerhouse digital agency, has produced an interesting five-minute video about privately owned public space in New York City. APOPS|MAS provided information to Huge and Chris Holmes for the video project.
David Greenfield, Chair of New York City Council’s Land Use Committee. Image courtesy of council.nyc.gov.
New York City has enacted a pathbreaking law on privately owned public space requiring annual reporting by the Department of City Planning to the Mayor and Speaker about all POPS, the posting of POPS information on the Department’s website including an interactive map and a mechanism for electronically filing complaints, proactive inspections every three years by a city department (presumably the Department of Buildings) of all POPS and an annual report to the mayor and speaker about POPS complaints and enforcement actions, and the requirement that all owners post signs at their POPS about the POPS. The full City Council passed the bill on June 21, 2017, following a public hearing held almost a year earlier, on June 29, 2016, by the Council’s Land Use Committee, chaired by Council Member David Greenfield (pictured left), to examine city oversight of privately owned public spaces. Sixteen councilors, including Chin, Gentile, Dickens, Garodnick, Mendez, Koo, Lander, Levin, Rose, Williams, Barron, Cohen, Kallos, Reynoso and Torres attended the hearing. Witnesses testifying included Edith Hsu-Chen, Director of the Manhattan Office in the Department of City Planning, Anita Laremont, General Counsel to the City Planning Commission, Patrick Wehle, Assistant Commissioner for External Affairs in the Department of Buildings, Joseph Ventour, Chief of Special Operations in the Buildings Department, APOPS founder and Harvard professor Jerold S. Kayden, and representatives of various civic groups interested in POPS. The Committee discussed a bill, proposed by Greenfield, Richards, Chin and Kallos, that would require the Department of City Planning to provide a periodic report to the City Council about every privately owned public space in the city, including all POPS locations, whether a POPS is required to file a periodic compliance report, whether the report was filed, and whether the filing indicated that the location was in compliance. DCP would also be required to create an online map displaying the location of every privately owned public space. The Department of Buildings would be required to provide an annual report to the City Council about the compliance status of every privately owned public space. The report would also include the number of complaints filed about any given space, whether any enforcement action was taken by the Buildings Department, and whether the Buildings Department had authorized any closure due to an unsafe condition or construction. Information about the hearing, including a video of the hearing and a transcript, can be found at the City Council’s website here.. The bill became law 30 days after its passage by the full City Council and will take full effect 90 days later on October 19, 2017.
After a long absence, the legally required public bench at Trump Tower’s privately owned public space is finally back in place. Together with the previous removal of two sales kiosks that had illegally occupied the POPS for years, this marks a long-sought successful outcome to efforts by the Department of Buildings, APOPS|MAS, and media reporting to secure compliance with the space’s applicable legal requirements.