Understanding the Value of Urban Open Space

There is an ongoing shift in urban planning to prioritize the creation of the urban experience. Citizens are attracted to the ability to briefly escape the bustling cities for parks and plazas full of entertainment, areas for relaxation or exercise, and dining options. As planners and developers abandon disengaging and monotonous streetscapes, they are purposefully creating active and lively street fronts. The proximity to open spaces and parks not only offers more visually appealing space to attract public use, but also creates and adds significant value to real estate. By eliminating obsolete and underutilized spaces and putting them to highest and best use, planners and developers create thriving communities.

On numerous accounts, revitalizing and maintaining these public spaces has proved to drive positive economic impacts in their surroundings. Both Central Park and Bryant Park in New York City are quintessential examples, but our new ULI article “Understanding the Value of Urban Open Space” delves into more cases, as well as highlights the fact that efforts to create these spaces are unique to each space—no single solution exists. 

Bryant Park in New York City, Bryant Park Corporation

Bryant Park in New York City, Bryant Park Corporation

Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City, McNeese Fitzgerald Associates

Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City, McNeese Fitzgerald Associates

To build upon Howard Kozloff’s award-winning article, “Payoff from Parks,” in this latest article he explores the various factors in creating successful open spaces that have the potential to greatly benefit surrounding communities, property owners, and businesses in a number of ways. Public spaces benefit from tri-fold coordination between the private sector, nonprofits, and public sector, since each bring critical, and complementary, skill sets to a mutual goal. Overall, the creation of public spaces can result in inviting gathering places that both anchor and bolster civic pride while bringing a positive economic impact to the surrounding area.

Enjoy reading the full article “Understanding the Value of Urban Open Space” by Howard Kozloff, Managing Partner of Agora Partners, as part of ULI’s “Transformative Urban Open Space” publication.