TOPIC

Public Space

Gimme Shelter

Photographs of Prospect Park’s unsanctioned constructions simultaneously suggest traces of past settlement and the start of a new civilization. Behind the scenes is a struggle for ecological succession among salamanders, kindergartners, and park management.

You’re Not Going to Tell Me When to Go Home

What happened on the ground during the summer protests in NYC? Participants describe a temporary landscape of kinship and resistance — and a template for another city.

Dispatches

The World Inverted

Kate Papacosma takes us on a tour through the expansive meadows and hidden precincts of Prospect Park, reflecting on its importance as a place of healing in a wounded city.

Where Are the Public Bathrooms in New York City?

With too few facilities, and many in urgent need of repair or renovation, New York has a big public bathroom problem. But the city's parks, plazas, POPS, and more hold clues to overhauling its network of relief.

Public Risks on Private Shores

Along New York City’s waterfront, development has spurred the creation of new public spaces regulated down to the level of tree plantings and bicycle parking. Why aren’t resilience measures mandated in a similar way?

Digital Frictions

Accessibility, Augmented

From video-enabled visual interpretation to 3D audio effects, smartphone wayfinding apps have a lot to offer Blind users. But these new features are no substitute for public infrastructure — digital or otherwise — that accounts for nonvisual navigation of the built environment.

Stalking the Smart City

An artist and an artificial intelligence, trained on the data of 1,000 anonymous New Yorkers, follow a path forged by no one in particular.

Citymakers

Signs of the Times

From small and ubiquitous markers to massive bespoke steel numerals, this longstanding Greenpoint signage company helps New Yorkers navigate the city.

People Movers

For a Level Field

For an equal shot at competitive sports in New York City public high schools, students and teachers fight to untangle the knot of race and space.

Shelf Life

We The News

As local newspapers dwindle, an artist revives New York’s classic newsstand to collect and circulate more diverse stories about immigration.

The Truth About Trees

An artist and a historian talk trees: What they mean, and what it takes to get city-dwellers to see them clearly.

Offsetted: After Green Infrastructure

What’s lost when the value of city trees is reduced to the “environmental services” they provide?

Radicals and Real Estate

This is what democracy looks like: not only public squares, but office buildings. In the Lower East Side, the Peace Pentagon was the source point for four decades of resistance.

Lavender Lane

Getting to the bottom of a mysterious streak of purple cropping up along Manhattan’s eastern edge.

The New Public Water

Drinking water is all around us, but just out of reach. Can simple tweaks to the city’s emergency infrastructure radically expand access to this precious resource?

Bright Megaphone

With simple phrases beamed in light, the Illuminator Collective appropriates buildings' exteriors to reveal the forces at work inside.

Shelf Life

Do You Remember How It Was?

Residents recall a decade of upheaval in the East New York Oral History Project.

Beyond Resilience

Nearly six years after Sandy flooded basements and uprooted trees, Red Hook Houses is still in recovery. But designers from KPF and OLIN see a future brighter than survival, when infrastructure combines with art and the landscape rises above the waterline.

The Location of Justice: Futures

Reentry: Start Here

People returning to city life after time in prison will soon be able to find help at some branch libraries. How can designers help librarians create life-saving connections?

Growing in the Gaps

In post-bankruptcy Detroit, planner Maurice Cox and his interdisciplinary team are making vacancy an asset, revitalizing through preservation, and listening to residents who know the city the best.