DESIGNING THE PUBLIC REALM | FALL 2013
URBAN PRACTICE WORKSHOP | DESIGNING THE PUBLIC REALM
The public realm is a defining feature of urban life. While many urban planners, architects, and designers have traditionally focused on the three dimensional form of cities as static objects, the public realm constitutes a “space between buildings” that is in flux through both time and space. It was this “space between buildings” that formed the base of our explorations during a weeklong workshop at Parsons The New School for Design.
In collaboration with NYC transportation advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, Urban Practice students participated in lectures, discussions, research, and advocacy focusing on street life on University Place, 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue between 14th Street and Washington Square North.
Some of our work throughout the week included:
Analyzing the history of street design in NYC and the rise of automobile culture in America
Applying some observational-based tools to investigate our focus streets
Participating in discussions with key institutional and community stakeholders in addition to other public space experts including:
WayCount creator Ted Ulrich
Village Alliance Executive Director William Kelley
NYC Department of Transportation Assistant Commissioner Andy Wiley-Schwartz
Transportation Alternatives advocates and organizers Miller Nuttle, Thomas Devito, Lindsey Ganson, Noah Budnick, Tom McGinley
Artist, entrepreneur and urban planner Florent Morellet.
Organizing and implementing a Park(ing) Day demonstration, where we temporarily converted a parking space into a mini-park on University Place
Creating a survey about street life and experience that we administered to nearly 500 people on University Place
Analyzing, interpreting, and publicizing research and survey results