The ongoing occupation of Zuccotti Park has put more public attention on so-called “privately owned public spaces,” or POPS, than ever before. New York is full of these spaces, most of them the result of deals between the city and developers who want breaks on zoning regulations. In the case of Zuccotti, the developers promised the space would be open 24/7, which has made the Occupy Wall Street presence possible, and has made a semi-obscure park world-famous.
The New York World, an online publication just launched by the Columbia School of Journalism, is partnering with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show to do a crowd-sourced map that will look into exactly those questions. Each of the city’s POPS is marked on the map and given a number; citizens are encouraged to visit the places and report back on what they see, noting also what time of day and day of the week they went.
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