The urban landscape of New York City has been drastically altered by the emergence of privately owned public spaces (POPS). These areas, which are provided and maintained by developers in exchange for extra floor area, offer a variety of opportunities for citizens to relax, observe, eat, and socialize. Mariana Mogilevich, an expert in architecture and urban planning, has pointed out that these public spaces demonstrate that the city is for everyone, regardless of their background. Urban planning and environmental psychology students have conducted research projects to investigate how outdoor dining has impacted public spaces in New York City.
Through their research, they have identified the ways in which POPS have been used to enhance the physical, social, and economic environments of the city. For instance, the city's Open Restaurants program has enabled the beautification of public streets and the restoration of existing coastal areas. The POPS Program dates back to 1961 when the New York City Zoning Resolution was last revised. This program provides an incentive for private landlords to provide outdoor and indoor spaces for public use.
The Lindsay Administration was one of the first to recognize the value of public space and sought to increase its density in order to support public interaction in urban spaces. Lefebvre's spatial theory can be used as a guide to comprehend how public spaces have contributed to New York City's urban landscape. This theory suggests that people will discover where these public spaces are located and what services they offer. It also suggests that these experiments have their origin in the combination of concerns with the survival of liberal democracy and the flourishing of the urban landscape.
New or reused public spaces can be used to demonstrate that cities are for everyone. This is especially true in New York City, which is considered a particularly suitable environment for the development of dedicated public spaces. As cities around the world look for new ways to improve their physical, social and economic environments, they pay more attention to the value of public space.