Date of Award


Document Type

Terminal Project

Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture


Matthew N. Powers

Committee Member

Robert R. Hewitt

Committee Member

Thomas W. Schurch


ABSTRACT Public spaces play very important parts in people’s daily lives. They are used as the common ground where people come together as friends, neighbors, and citizens; places people share together—such as parks, streets, sidewalks, squares, trails, community gardens, public buildings; and more—are the primary sites for human exchange, upon which our communities, economy, democracy, and society depend(Public Spaces and Public Life, 2012). However, the problem is that it’s often not easy for people to access public spaces in urban center areas because many spaces are used as commercial or residential lands. In these situations, developing privately owned public spaces (POPS) can be a good approach. Nowadays, several big cities in the United States such as New York, San Francisco, and Seattle have tried this approach and the POPS do help a lot in solving the existing public space issue. In another word, POPS as a form of public space is becoming more and more popular in other big cities in the United States. However, POPS are not very common in mid-sized cities. This study presents a new framework for designing public spaces in urban center areas of mid-sized cities in the United States. This study also examines important factors necessary for developing POPS through case studies of 15 POPS in New York City. The goal of the study is to create design guidelines for designing POPS within the downtown of mid-sized cities. A design application of the guidelines in Greenville, SC provides an example implementation based on the research results. Results of the study indicate that this new framework is feasible and compelling.