This policy recommendation looks at the negotiations that take place in creating privately owned public spaces. Situating this within the trend of public-private partnerships, this recommendation addresses the lack of representative participation in the production and operation of ‘public’ space.
Often these spaces, packaged with mixed use development, become amenities for the adjacent buildings. While many are generated through public subsidies, they do not consistently contribute to the public’s welfare. The formulaic design typically creates predefined uses, tied to on site commercial entities, producing spaces of consumption and passive recreation. Further, they contribute to rising land values and the upscaling of the city to the detriment of vulnerable communities displaced in the process.
In depth research revealed openings to tweak existing community engagement practices. The recommendation proposes a legislated body for the oversight and management of public space, which we have called Public Action Review Collaborative (PARC). PARC is a participatory model that expands civic participation in local politics through built in mechanisms for a representative public including renters, owners, workers, organizations, unions, etc. PARC challenges the power imbalance of urban development, creating long term structural change to the process of public-private space production. The objective is to create a city mandated model that is replicable across New York.
Ethnography • Theoretical • Stakeholder mapping • Policy recommendation • Engagement tool
In depth report, including ethnographic research, ethnosemantic analysis, stakeholder mapping, was created and shared with all the participants involved. The final chapter of the report outlines the policy recommendation and prototypes the inner operation of the legislated body. The next steps of this research is to continue to develop this prototype with community partners and public officials to make it actionable strategy for the future.