I made a trip to New York City recently to confirm some of the pocket parks on the city’s inventory list and was baffled and surprised. I was baffled because so many of these public spaces are blocked and covered up by scaffolding. I was surprised because many of the addresses on the Privately Owned Public Space list do not fit the criteria for public space set forth by the Department of City Planning which states:
The current public plaza provisions enable the creation of high quality public plazas on privately owned sites that are inviting, open, accessible and safe.
As I have said before, many are simply widened sidewalks or space next to an entrance that is obviously not meant for the public to linger. This photo is a screenshot of one such space that is listed as a plaza or an arcade. Does this look like an inviting space?
“Pocket Parks of NYC” will highlight only the pocket parks that follow the public plaza design principles as determined by the Department of City Planning and, well, parks that look like great places to hang out. If you find such an inviting space, send me the location. I will be happy to check it out if I haven’t already, and may even include your name in my book (with permission, of course). In the meantime, enjoy springtime in the city!