A Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) is an amenity provided, constructed and maintained by a property owner/developer for public use in exchange for additional floor area. POPS are primarily achieved as-of-right through incentive zoning, although some POPS were created by way of a special permit granted by the City Planning .
Privately owned public spaces have been encouraged in the city’s high-density commercial and residential districts as a means of increasing light and air and green space, and easing the hard streetscape formed by towering buildings bordered by concrete sidewalks. Since 1961, the Zoning Resolution has permitted different types of POPS, including residential, urban and sunken plazas, arcades, sidewalk widenings, open air concourses, covered pedestrian spaces and through block arcades. Over the years, the requirements for POPS have been refined, providing greater design quality and more comfortable elements to meet the needs of the public.