Ten percent of Planetizen Top 100 Public Spaces in the United States were in New York City based on a crowd sourcing survey initiated by regular contributor Chris Whitis. The high percentage also reflects the “interested participants” factor and suggests another important point for investigation.

The use of the urban public place demands a new aesthetic, one makes the meaning of an urban place something more than a preserved hunk of “green” or platform for architecture.

The public space is also a place of last resort, where people can press unrelentingly on the button of unresolved social or economic issues. We can all name hundreds of places with equal quality or grander views as those listed below, but in an urban design thought experiment — how would the following “top ten” type places work if they were “occupied”?

Bryant Park 

High Line Park 

Brooklyn Bridge Park 

Central Park

Paley Park

Grand Central Terminal 

Teardrop Park

Madison Square Park 

Fort Tryon Park

Mosholu Parkway

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