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Privately Owned Public Space

POPS are the plazas, arcades, and other public spaces both indoors and outdoors that are provided on a development site through incentive zoning or other governmental procedures. The zoning grants bonus floor area to allow the new building to be larger in return for the addition to the public realm. More than 500 POPS have been built since 1961 and have added more than 80 acres of open space (approximately 1/10 the size of Central Park) mostly in Manhattan.

Since 1961 the rules for POPS have been modified numerous times to ensure that the spaces are more useful to the public and some measures have been undertaken to better enforce the quality and availability of the spaces.

An inventory of POPS is available at:

The City Club hosts a POPS Coalition that includes liaisons from various community groups and professional organizations that are concerned with POPS. It has drafted an agenda of ways in which POPS could be better designed, improved, and maintained. It has advocated for legislation and for zoning that would encourage more and better POPS. Most recently the City Club testified against changes to the zoning resolution that would facilitate closing arcades near Water Street in Lower Manhattan and against an application to close the arcade at the Fulton Street end of 200 Water Street in Lower Manhattan.

  • City Club objects to removal of the privately owed public arcade at 200 Water Street, details attached (pdf).

  • To read the City Club’s position on the Water Street POPS Proposed Rezoning, please click: Water Street POPS


City Club believes that POPS should be considered as Privately Owed rather than Owned.

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