For a bit of Friday fun I’ve got a new word for you – Po-Pos: Privately owned Public open space. Gimicky sure but let’s look a bit closer. Coined by San Francisco based design firm Rebar, Po-Pos are those spaces in a city where the city government has partnered with private developers to create nominally public spaces.
Sometimes, the goal is to take advantage of tax breaks while keeping the space private, by making it inhospitable to the public. The goal of COMMONspace, states Rebar, is “to evaluate, activate and reclaim these spaces as a critical part of the public realm and as a valuable component of San Francisco’s intellectual and artistic commons. We aim to determine, Just how public are these privately-owned public spaces?” [On the Commons]
The group mapped 14 sites across San Francisco. No surprises the blog entry sharing this is now no longer available. But I couldn’t help but think how many there are in Melbourne …. Perhaps I should be asking the people who were involved in Occupy Melbourne. But off the top of my head there is Federation Square, City Square (?), a stack of new office towers that offer a ‘laneway’ walk through at the bottom.. I feel like I’ve just started to scratch the surface of this.