Sunday, October 14, 2012

New York City's Unified Public Spaces Maps

“I am a planner,” he said. “And as a planner, I look at parks very differently. Parks do not sit in isolation.” Mitchell Silver Parks Commissioner
Before discussing NYC public spaces  maps , first  a few words to say on the NYC Transit system maps .

NYC Transit

From the beginning of the 20th century until 1940 New York City had three subway systems. These were Brooklyn Manhattan Transit, Interborough Rapid Transit and the Independent line. With the exception of jointly operated lines these maps listed only those transit assets of each respective company.

to find the closest station to where you were going, you needed to consult 3 maps.
BMT Map 1939

IRT Map 1939

IND Line Map 1939

In June 1940, the transportation assets of the former BMT and IRT systems were taken over by the City of New York for operation by the City's Board of Transportation, which already operated the IND system. Free transfer points were initiated in 1948.

Unified Transit map 1948

NYC Public Spaces

At the beginning of the 21st Century. NYC had 3 major agencies in charge of publicly accessible open space development.

NYC Parks Department's  parks and playgrounds, greenstreets, community gardens
 NYC Department of City Planning's  Privately Owned Public Spaces(POPS)
NYC Department of Transportation's Public Plaza , bus shelters and Citybench programs.
(additionally publicly accessible open spaces are State Parks, National parks)

Like the subway systems of the  early 20th each of these public spaces  systems are independently run and each has a different map* not listing the spaces of the other systems. 
Dept of City Planning Privately Owned Public Spaces Map
NY Parks Department  Parks Map
lists NYC parks, Greenstreets, State and National
Parks ansd Schoolyards into Playgrounds

DOT Plazas


For the Chelsea/Hell's Kitchen area the maps above  look like this:

This is the NY Dept of City Planning Privately Owned Public
 Spaces map for the
 area in and around Chelsea/Hell's Kitchen....
This is the NYC parks map for in and around
Chelsea/Hell's Kitchen,.

                                                NYC Plazas in and around Chelsea/Hell's Kitchen

 The NYC Parks map lists 26 parks and totally ignores the DCP POPS spaces, the DCP POPS map lists POPS over 60 POPS and ignores the NYC parks. To find the nearest publicly accessible open space you need to consult 2 maps (and 1 website)

NYCUPS-New York City Unified Public Spaces Maps   has created the first Unified Public spaces  maps for the Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen   neighborhoods  of Manhattan. These map consist of all open spaces (with seating ) in and around Chelsea/Hell's Kitchen that are operated by NYC parks, created under the DCP POPS program, or built by the NYC DOT Under it's plazas, Citybench and  bus shelters programs. additionally the map also lists, community gardens, federal open spaces (such as General Post Office  steps), and other private spaces that are accessible to the public. And for good measure  restroom locations are included.

Click here for Interactive Park Hell's Kitchen Map

Click here for a interactive Park Chelsea map

"The Park Chelsea and Park Hell's Kitchen  map are "Retailers" map , they  lists open spaces and seating  from all "manufacturers" (NYC Parks Dept, Department of Transportation,  City Planning, etc)" according to Arnold Bob who designed these maps. "Currently we have released maps for Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen and Midtown South. We're also working on maps for the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, West Village, Kips Bay/Murray Hill and East Harlem."

For the latest versions of the maps go to