The Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Jerold Kayden, Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design, joined WBUR’s Radio Boston on Friday, July 31 to discuss Boston’s so-called privately-owned public spaces (POPS) with host Meghna Chakrabarti.
Kayden and Chakrabarti toured a trio of POPS—outdoor and indoor spaces that are privately owned, but legally required to be open to the public—around Boston, including 500 Boylston Street in Boston’s Back Bay and Foster’s Rotunda, which sits on the ninth floor of 30 Rowes Wharf in the Boston Harbor Hotel complex.
Their conversation covered the challenge of finding and cataloging such spaces, and why these spaces matter for the health of a city.
“Done well, cities can lead to greater tolerance, a sense of pluralism of beliefs, that we need in this world,” Kayden said. “That’s the aspirational description of what a city is. And public spaces… are actually dedicated spaces for people to gather, become the physical vessel in which this aspirational publicness of cities can be accomplished.”
Listen to Kayden’s full interview here.
Kayden, who has mapped POPS across New York City, also spoke recently with the New York Times about the battle over POPS in the Trump Tower. He authored the book Privately Owned Public Space: The New York City Experience and founded Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space, a nonprofit organization based in New York whose mission is to improve zoning-created plazas, arcades, and indoor spaces.