The 'Publicization' of Private Space

Sarah Schindler, LAPA Fellow; University of Maine School of Law

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 4:30pm
301 Marx Hall
Event Category: 

LAPA’s seminar format assumes that seminar participants have familiarized themselves with the paper in advance. The commentator opens the session by summarizing the main themes in the paper and presenting some topics for discussion. The author then has the right of first response before we open to the floor for questions. The seminar will end with a brief reception, giving everyone a chance to mingle and meet.

Abstract:  "This Article considers the nature of privately owned public open space (“POPOS”)—a common form of public space that exists in many urban areas, often taking the form of plazas, atriums, or rooftop terraces. Specifically, it seeks to examine whether POPOS live up to expectations about the role that public space should play and the value it should provide to the communities in which it is located. This is especially important because many cities have made a tradeoff—they allow developers to construct larger buildings in exchange for the provision of this publicly accessible (yet still privately owned) space. The Article suggests that in many ways, POPOS fail to accomplish the goals of “good” public space. Thus, the Article provides suggestions for improving POPOS, including through a change in laws that govern their design and use, and through the importation of norms that we typically associate with public space into these privately owned spaces—a process that I refer to as “publicization.” The goal of the Article is to provide a path forward so that POPOS will function as a form of public space worthy of the tradeoff that cities are making."

Sarah Schindler
LAPA Fellow
University of Maine School of Law

Sarah Schindler is a Professor of Law and the Glassman Faculty Research Scholar at the University of Maine School of Law. She is spending the year in residence at Princeton as a fellow in the Program in Law and Public Affairs. Professor Schindler’s nationally recognized scholarship focuses on property, land use, local government and the built environment. Three of her recent articles, “Architectural Exclusion” (Yale Law Journal), “Banning Lawns” (George Washington Law Review), and “Of Backyard Chickens and Front-yard Gardens: The Conflict Between Local Governments and Locavores” (Tulane Law Review), were selected to be reprinted in the Land Use and Environmental Law Review, an annual, peer-selected compendium of the ten best land use and environmental law articles of the year. At Maine Law, Professor Schindler teaches property, land use, local government, real estate transactions, and animal law. She received the Professor of the Year award in 2013. Prior to joining the Maine Law faculty in 2009, Professor Schindler clerked for Judge Will Garwood of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Austin, Texas and practiced in the area of land use and environmental law at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco. 

Alison Isenberg
History, Princeton University

Alison Isenberg writes and teaches about nineteenth and twentieth century American society, with particular attention to the transformation of cities, and to the intersections of culture, the economy, and place. Professor Isenberg's book Downtown America: A History of the Place and the People Who Made It (University of Chicago Press, 2004) received several awards: the Ellis Hawley prize from the Organization of American Historians; Historic Preservation Book Prize from Mary Washington University; Lewis Mumford Prize from the Society for American City and Regional Planning History; and an Honor Book award from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.  At Princeton, Isenberg co-directs the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities(link is external), and is a Faculty Associate at the Woodrow Wilson School(link is external). She co-directed the Urban Studies Program(link is external) from 2012-2014, and currently serves on its Executive Committee.  An Affiliated Faculty member in the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, she is also on the Executive Committee of the American Studies(link is external) Program.  During 2015-2016 she held an Old Dominion Fellowship, awarded by the Princeton Humanities Council(link is external).