#whOWNSpace

2011 - 2013
Topics: Public Space, Democracy, Community-based Planning, Transdisciplinary Design
Location: New York City


#whOWNSpace is an "action-research" project that advocated for policies and designs that utilize public space for local democratic activity. The project originated in response to issues of privatization of public space that were raised by Occupy Wall Street. The project used mapping, design workshops, site surveys, and even litigious interventions, to secure access for activists to use New York's open spaces for movement building actions. The project also sought to raise broader questions about the role that public space, and privately owned public spaces (POPS), play in the process of gentrification, the militarization of space, and other control over shaping the economy, culture, and physical form of New York. 

#whOWNSpace was done in partnership with the NY based collectives: DSGN AGNC (lead), The Public School, 596 Acres, and BRUNO. For more information visit the project website: http://whownspace.blogspot.com/.

Above: Maps that depict concentrations of publicly owned public spaces and privately owned public spaces (POPS). These visual tools draw connections between privatization of space, concentrations of wealth, disproportionate influence on public policy, and other manifestations of inequality in the built environment of Manhattan. 

Video from a #whOWNSpace workshop examining public spaces along the Greenpoint, Brooklyn waterfront. The workshop included use of an interactive model, site tours, and other collaborative design and advocacy excercises.