PlanPhilly

Public Space

    • 20170713 elee philadelphia city hall dilworth park fountain hot day

A park that makes money? Dilworth generated $2.5 million in 2018

When construction began last month on a second Starbucks-branded cafe in Dilworth Park outside City Hall, some Philadelphians started asking why businesses and ads were in the city-owned plaza at all.…

    • Parkside picnicking during 2018 West Park Arts Fest  (Neal Santos for PlanPhilly)

In Common: 6 ways Philly can create more equitable, imaginative and inviting public spaces

I was lucky enough to spend 2018 writing the In Common series, exploring the ways civic spaces across Philly are changing, each aiming to build a stronger, more inclusive city. We’ll…

    • Birds circle Mount Moriah Cemetery's historic gatehouse. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Mount Moriah cemetery could become nature sanctuary

On the edge of Philadelphia, Mount Moriah cemetery sprawls over 380 acres, spreading into Delaware County and sheltering 80,000 thousand graves. But when Paulette Rhone goes there to visit her husband’s…

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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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