PlanPhilly

Public Space

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Hepatitis A is spreading through poop on the streets. Philly is betting public bathrooms can stem the outbreak.

Public bathrooms will be deployed in Kensington as the city’s newest weapon in its battle against a growing Hepatitis A outbreak. The spread of the viral liver infection has been traced…

    • Illegal dumpers throw construction debris on a Philadelphia street in a video screen capture from a video released by the City of Philadelphia.

Philly says hidden cameras, higher fines help catch more illegal dumpers

Kelly O’Day is a retired wastewater engineer who tracks illegal dumping in Phildelphia in his spare time. There is no shortage of abandoned matresses, old tires and plastic junk for the…

    • Philadelphia's street sweeping pilot program has started, but some sweepers are unable to go down narrow streets. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

$2.73 million later, Philly realizes street sweepers are too wide for city’s narrow blocks

Philly’s street sweeping experiment has hit a sizable snag — a nine-foot-wide snag, to be exact. The 10 new street sweepers purchased for the pilot program at a cost of $2.73…

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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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