PlanPhilly

Public Space

    • The scene has quieted down at the Rittenhouse Starbucks where two black men were arrested on April 12. (Jim Saksa/ WHYY)

Rittenhouse Starbucks patron: "We should all be able to... get a cup of coffee or sit down."

The rhythm of daily commerce has resumed at Starbucks at 18th and Spruce Streets, where the filmed arrest of two black men eight days ago launched another round of the nation’s…

    • Tayyib Smith and Meegan Denenberg at Pipeline Philly.(Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Black in Rittenhouse and designing for a diverse city

One week ago, the arrest of two black men at a Rittenhouse Square Starbucks pushed a provocative idea about the racialization of urban space into mainstream conversation. Suddenly, millions of people…

    • A T-shirt catches the drips from a leaking window frame in a multi-purpose room used by children at Vare Rec Center. | Emma Lee/WHYY

City: 'Too soon' to say if soda tax shortfall will hit parks & rec makeover

There will be no Rebuild without the soda tax. That’s been the message coming from Mayor Jim Kenney over the last several months — a warning that the ongoing legal fight…

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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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