Defining a Public: The Management of Privately Owned Public Space

Date: 10/1/09
Principal Researchers: Jeremy Németh, Ph.D Location: New York City, NY

In October 2009, Associate Professor Jeremy Németh published an article in the journal Urban Studies "Defining a Public: The Management of Privately Owned Public Space". This paper empirically explores the management of privately owned public space by examining 163 spaces produced through New York City's incentive zoning program, whereby developers provide and manage a public space in exchange for floor area ratio (FAR) bonuses. Developers of these bonus spaces employ a variety of management approaches, each correlating with common theories of spatial control in publicly owned spaces. However, as developer priorities are often fiscally driven, most approaches severely limit political, social and democratic functions of public space and produce a constricted definition of the public. As such, privately owned public spaces have deleterious effects on concepts of citizenship and representation, even as they become the new models for urban space provision and management.

More Information: Read the full journal article here.