Situated between 7th Street, Florida Street, and the RJ Corman Railroad tracks sits Brucetown Park. Part of the historic Brucetown neighborhood (which was profiled in the History section of this document on pages 23 & 24), Brucetown Park is a small greenspace that also contains a playground set, a basketball court, and a couple of benches. Brucetown Park is in relatively good repair, but is in need of additional lighting.
Privately Owned Public Spaces
There are several privately-owned public spaces in the North End of Lexington that are intended to function as Public Space. While privately owned public space is nothing new, it is part of a growing trend of privatizing Public Spaces. In New York City, the NYC Planning Department has specific requirements for privately owned public spaces (POPS) that are a part of new development projects.
NYC Planning - POPS Regulations
All Privately Owned Public Spaces must be:
- Open and inviting at the sidewalk - A public plaza must be visually interesting and easily seen from the street—evidence that it is an open, public space. Seating must be easily visible with generous paths leading into the plaza.
- Accessible - A public plaza should generally be located at the same level as the adjoining public sidewalk to encourage easy access by all passersby. Pedestrian circulation is encouraged by a pleasant and rational layout of paths and open space.
- Quality seating space - A public plaza must accommodate a variety of well-designed, comfortable seating for small groups and individuals, which may include fixed and movable chairs, benches and broad low walls.
- A sense of safety and security - A public plaza must be oriented to, and visibly connected to the street to avoid any sense of isolation. It must be well-lit and contain easily accessible paths.
In the North End, POPSinclude “pocket parks” like the one located on the corner of North Upper Street and Sixth Street and outdoor seating areas for businesses like Broomwagon Bikes + Coffee’s “courtyard” area. While the majority of these spaces in the neighborhood are positive assets, it is important for future projects that include Privately Owned Public Space to keep the community in mind when designing the space. The above listed NYC planning rules are a good starting place for best practices for designing and installing POPS.