URBAN DESIGN COMMITTEE

OPEN SPACE

Public space, open or enclosed, is precious in New York City.  How can it be increased, designed and maintained to be useful, equitably distributed, and not usurped or privatized?

The image is from the New York Times of 31 March 1918.  It shows Central Park crowded with many of the improvements that, over time, had been proposed for it.

We have studied, with other civic groups ways in which the privatization of POPS might be resisted.  More recently we have considered whether the future of Governors Island should emphasize open space or development.

POPS Privately Owed Public Space  (2 June 2016)

The Blood Center’s Imposing Shadow (12 May 2021)

The City Club opposes the application to rezone the site of the Blood Center because of its harm to neighboring open space and notes the supporting roles of spot zoning for dollars and the lack of comprehensive planning.  (Read the statement.)

The Devolution of Irving Trust  (2 Mar 2021)

The letter opposes the City Planning Commission allowing the diminution of the public realm at 240 Greenwich Street, formerly the Irving Trust Building, in the Washington Street Urban Renewal Area.  (Read the letter.)

Governors Island: What Does It Want To Be  (24 Dec 2020)

Our opinion is that Governor’s Island is most valuable as open space, providing a destination for passive and active recreation complementing the historic buildings and cultural activities.  (Read the statement.)

200 Water Street (8 Sep 2017)
Water Street POPS Proposed Rezoning (11 May 2016)

We opposed the elimination of the arcade at the Fulton Street end of 200 Water Street and we opposed the zoning change that authorized such diminutions of the public realm along Water Street.  (Read the statements.)

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