Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) in SF

Want to talk about your favorite places besides Kansas City? Post any development news or questions about other cities here.
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mjbauer95
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Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) in SF

Post by mjbauer95 »

I'm visiting my office in San Francisco for work, and a coworker who lives in SF showed me this neat list of "Privately owned public spaces". Basically, zoning rules require office buildings to have a certain amount of privately owned, but publicly available space. Seems worth checking out if you're in San Francisco, they are really nice places to be:

https://sfpopos.com

I wonder if KC downtown has ever considered a requirement like that on new office developments. It seems like a really good way to squeeze in more parks in high density areas. Most office space is not going into downtown unfortunately, but I also think these kind of requirement rarely make or break a project. Kind of like 1% for art, but X sqft for the public (plaza, rooftop, parks, etc).

A little bit of information on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privately ... blic_space

What do you all think?
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TheLastGentleman
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Re: Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) in SF

Post by TheLastGentleman »

I like them in theory, and fun ones like rooftop gardens and observation posts are great, but I think historically POPS tend to come in the form of windswept plazas. However, that might be changing since downtown development is less office-skyscraper focused than it used to be.
langosta
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Re: Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) in SF

Post by langosta »

Is raising the cost of new development, which seems to rarely pencil out here as is, a good thing? I think not. This is also not a particularly efficient way to create quality park space especially in a place like KC that already has a lot of little low activation pocket parks.

To some degree, KC already has this with the parkland dedication requirement for residential. The developer can pay cash or set aside land. Cash option is more efficient in an urban setting and helps to support the parks we already have. Suburban development tends to see more land get set aside which iirc is part of the reason soo many new developments have trails now or land set aside for future trail construction.
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TheLastGentleman
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Re: Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) in SF

Post by TheLastGentleman »

I love how kc is too poor for parks. The city is too poor for parks and our chronically impoverished developers are too poor for parks.

Honestly seems like a miracle we haven’t gone bankrupt like detroit yet
langosta
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Re: Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) in SF

Post by langosta »

TheLastGentleman wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 9:39 pm I love how kc is too poor for parks. The city is too poor for parks and our chronically impoverished developers are too poor for parks.

Honestly seems like a miracle we haven’t gone bankrupt like detroit yet
That isn’t what I said. I said it is expensive to develop new things in the downtown area and that this an extra cost that will make it even harder to build. And this isn’t particularly efficient or beneficial way to improve the overall park experience for citizens. The current dedication fee allows for reinvestment in existing park space.

IMHO our issue is lack of funding / activation for what we already have and there is minimal need for small little parks to add to that burden. KC’s park space per capita already exceeds many other cities. We need to add density to activate that existing space along with a few strategic additions.

For example, I think it will be infinitely better for 4 Light to contribute to the loop cap and other downtown parks than to carve out a sizable chunk of their own lot for a park set aside / public plaza. (in reality parks department just has to use the funds for a park within x miles of your development)
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