The City of London has created its own dataset of the city’s privately owned public space.
Boston Harbor Now, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the public realm along Boston’s Harbor, has published a map locating POPS and their amenities along the Harvard.d
Long-time San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic John King writes about POPS and the challenge of keeping some of them public and usable in San Francisco.
John Hill’s “A Daily Dose of Architecture” blog entry weighs the new owner’s proposal to eliminate the arcades and through block covered pedestrian space at the once named “AT&T” and “Sony” building, designed by Philip Johnson, and replace the CPS with a larger through block outdoor public plaza.
Senior tech reporter Stephanie Lee writes about Apple’s efforts to make, some would argue brand, its stores into “town squares.” Her article poses the question whether and to what extent privately owned space is ever public.
This examination of London POPS popularizes the phrase “pseudo-public space” and provides maps and other data for thinking about the relationship of private and public parties in the provision of public space.
The Boston Globe editorializes in favor of creating a New York-style POPS inventory.
Jason Sayer reports in the ArchitectsNewspaper about approved modifications to the privately owned public spaces at 701 Lexington Avenue, formerly known as the Citicorp Center. Some have expressed concerns about changes to the Sasaki-designed open air concourse. The spaces fall under the concurrent jurisdictions of the City Planning Commission and the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
An audit by the City Comptroller’s Office reveals that 55% of POPS locations have conditions in violation of applicable legal requirements. Of these 333 POPS locations, 275 have not been inspected by the Department of Buildings in at least four years. Of the 58 inspected, 41 remain out of compliance, yet only 18 violations have been issued to 10 of those locations. The audit results are reported in a document entitled “Audit Report on the City’s Oversight over Privately Owned Public Spaces,” dated April 18, 2017. The report is accessible here. Media coverage of the report may be found in a New York Times article written by Eli Rosenberg.
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