As cities grow, their urban centers rely on a foundation of infrastructure and public space that remains flat and unresponsive to variable use. The future city can and should be as fluid as the human interaction it accommodates.
As private developments continuously push the height of the city upwards, public and collective spaces are left at the bottom of dark craters in a highly vertical city. But what if these developments pulled the plane of public space up with them? The resulting cross-section is that of an arc, which offers a greater potential for the programming and usage of public space, combining multiple types of public space into a richer and more vertical urban fabric. Additional echoes of this plane have the potential to completely fill in New York City’s urban canyons while also providing more flexible spaces that better respond to the needs of the city.
This new kind of public space in Midtown is backed by a private-public partnership but gives priority to public use rather than private profit. For the first time, the sky can belong to the people, creating a site that can be what all public and collective spaces should be in the vertical city: Highly Public.