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Manhattan POPS

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There are almost 90 acres of privately owned public spaces (POPS) in Manhattan like Zuccotti Park. In the wake of Occupy Wall Street, the form's most prolific and foremost designer, Thomas Balsley discusses the nature and future of what would seem to be a landscape architecture oxymron: privately controlled public space. "Do they belong to the public, or to their owners? Should they be, and feel, more civic in character, or quieter and more sequestered? What limitations should be placed on their use? Some of these same questions were asked in the 19th century by the creators of our city’s great public parks." Balsley is, unsurprisingly, a proponent of the continued use of POPS as inviting social spaces, but does question why New York lacks the grand public spaces that other great cities possess. [Observer]