An increasingly common method for development of public infrastructure and public use facilities is through private development. These projects often include private developers in partnership with public agencies with the purpose to fund projects without public money, to provide high quality structures and sometimes to generate revenue.
In New York City, this mechanism for funding projects is increasingly being used in the development of public parks of all sizes. The Parks Department uses an existing mechanism to license smaller concession for the development of larger sports, recreation and public amenities. In smaller, privately owned public spaces (POPS), the Department of City Planning is encouraging private businesses to operate within these spaces as a way to “activate” the space, assure maintenance and provide a daily presence.
The process for approvals can be complex and may include going through ULURP, working with the Department of City Planning and sometimes the NYCEDC.
The architect has dual roles as advisor to the owner as well as the traditional role of designer. During the early stages of the process, the role of advisor is central.