6. Zuccotti Park is Legally Required to be Open 24 Hours
Zuccotti Park is a privately owned public space, which means that although it is privately owned, it is legally required by zoning laws to be open to the public twenty-four hours per day. This makes Zuccotti Park somewhat different from many other New York City parks, most of which close around 1 AM
There are approximately 500 privately owned public spaces in Manhattan. The program was developed in 1961, and allowed for private development of public spaces by investors in exchange for Floor Area Ratio bonuses (FAR).
One of Untapped Cities’ contributors, who has written her thesis on POPs, stated that “as developer priorities are often fiscally driven, most approaches severely limit political, social and democratic functions of public space and produce a constricted definition of the public. As such, privately owned public spaces have deleterious effects on concepts of citizenship and representation, even as they become the new models for urban space provision and management.”
She added that the privately owned public spaces model is especially “problematic when viewed through a lens of citizenship and representation. The right of private parties to exclude certain individuals and groups from publicly accessible spaces is a question of citizenship, or ‘the right to be considered in the range of forums, alliances and nodes which constitute governance.”