Accessibility Across Types of Urban Public Space: Cases and Commentary

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Delaware A, Marriott, Lobby Level
Organizers: Karen Franck
Chairs: Karen Franck


It is notable that the array of different types of urban public space continues to expand and traditional types are being enhanced even as concern over the apparent decline of public space continues. Relatively new types include: ecological restoration areas, privately owned public spaces under the city’s jurisdiction, similar spaces fully in the private sector, street side parking spaces converted to sitting spaces, parts of roadways also converted to sitting areas, and the enhancement of existing sidewalks with single benches.

Usually different types of public space, including the traditional ones of sidewalks, streets and squares are studied separately from each other. It is also useful however to examine types of urban public space in a more collective manner, for instance to explore how they do, or do not, vary with respect to particular features. That is precisely the goal of this session: to examine how accessibility is achieved or constrained in different types of public space and how specific characteristics such as location, design, regulations and management serve to do so. The papers cover the following cases: Tahrir Square in Cairo viewed from a historical perspective, recent ecological restoration spaces in the U.S. and China, interior privately owned public spaces in New York City and the newer “parklets” in several US cities. The session will conclude with a paper that draws upon these and other cases to offer an integrative analysis of how accessibility is achieved or constrained across types of urban public space.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Mariam Abdelazim*, New Jersey Institute Of Technology, Opening and Closing a Public Space: The Story of Tahrir Square 20 1:10 PM
Presenter Han Yan*, New Jersey Institute Of Technology, Access to Urban Restoration Spaces 20 1:30 PM
Presenter Te-Sheng Huang*, , How "Public" are Privately Owned Public Spaces? 20 1:50 PM
Presenter Hanife Vardi Topal*, New Jersey Institute Of Technology, How Accessible are Parklets? 20 2:10 PM
Presenter Karen Franck*, new jersey institute of technology, The Accessibility of Public Space: Let’s Count the Ways 20 2:30 PM

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