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Michael Kimmelman fires off another round of civic architecture teachin' with this week's report on New York's public spaces. Taking a jaunt through the city with architect and urban planner Alexander Garvin, he champions useful public space that makes high-density neighborhoods pedestrian-friendly, not just the developer-led practice of adding plazas in exchange for a taller building. Doing it wrong? Atlantic Yards. Shining examples? Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park. Which is to say, unsurprising, but a useful lesson in how to remake a nightmarish intersection (Times Square, Penn Station) with creative redesign. [NYT]