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Citizen Epistemologies as the Driver of Public Plaza Equity in New York City
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8968-3500
2023 (English)In: Planning Theory & Practice, ISSN 1464-9357, E-ISSN 1470-000X, Vol. 24, no 5, p. 703-708Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Inequitable access to open public space has been debated for decades in New York City, as a high-density context where much of the city’s land surface is taken up by streets dominated by motor vehicles. In 2008, a new era in the city’s public space provision began with the launch of the NYC Department of Transportation’s Plaza Program, focused on the creation of new pedestrian plazas fashioned from street space formerly dedicated to traffic. By 2017, the Program had expanded from one to over 70 plazas city-wide and continues to operate using a ‘tactical urbanism’ approach with temporary materials like paint and planters. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in 2019 (Smeds, Citation2021), this essay describes how citizens’ epistemologies surrounding Diversity Plaza in the Jackson Heights neighbourhood became a key driver for the reform of NYC’s Plaza Program towards greater public space equity. Based on this case, I argue that citizens’ struggles for epistemic justice can pave the way for realising greater distributive and procedural justice in transitions towards post-car cities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 24, no 5, p. 703-708
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-347036OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-347036DiVA, id: diva2:1862011
Note

Part of DOI 10.1080/14649357.2023.2273664 WoS 001149622900001

QC 20240529

Available from: 2024-05-28 Created: 2024-05-28 Last updated: 2024-07-02Bibliographically approved

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Smeds, Emilia

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