For the second initiative in the Summer Charette, our team ventured into the world of Privately Owned Public Space, also known as “POPS”. Our goal was to examine the forces on how these spaces function, communicate with residents of the community, and how they could be improved to better serve their residents. Our interactive studies began in our hometown of Princeton, NJ, and later translated to NYC in terms of networking these public nodes.
New York City is a global hub with a highly active urban community but also a significant contributor to public dead zones and under-designed POPS. New York City users would benefit considerably from an intervention that encourages play in public spaces and becomes the hub of spontaneous gatherings like street performances as well as everyday gathering.
The research team explored a site at 6th Ave in New York in which to modify the public space in favor of the residents. A series of canopies suspended over the space could allow for new shade, covering from unfavorable weather, and also a technological aspect to integrate projections and information – allowing neighborhoods to take back control of their public space.