Contest for one logo to rule all the POPS plazas

This past November, activists marked the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street at Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, which is a POPS, or privately owned public space. File photo

BY ROSE ADAMS | The city wants to add some pop to its POPS — privately owned public spaces, that is.

Mayor de Blasio, the Department of City Planning, Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space and the Municipal Art Society are holding a competition for a new logo to be displayed at more than 550 POPS citywide.

These privately owned atriums, plazas and arcades have provided New Yorkers with public indoor and outdoor space for decades. Created under the 1961 zoning resolution, the POPS program incentivizes developers to build publicly accessible spaces in exchange for increased floor area.

“When you have an incredibly dense city like New York, there understandably is a desire for places that provide a little respite from the density,” said Jerold Kayden, a Harvard professor of urban planning and design and president of Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space.

The POPS program has created around 3.8 million square feet of public space around the city — equal to roughly 24 Union Squares. Some better known POPS include Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park and Lincoln Center’s Rubinstein Atrium.

This wall mounting — at Big Screen Plaza at Kimpton’s Hotel Eventi, at Sixth Ave. between 29th and 30th Sts. — sporting the Department of City Planning tree logo, signifies that it is a POPS, or privately owned public space. The city is currently searching for a new, better logo for the hundreds of POPS around town.

The logo competition, launched in January, comes after the City Council passed a law in 2017 requiring POPS to post signage detailing the space’s hours, amenities and owners. These signs will also display the winning logo.

“The POPS logo design competition is a unique opportunity for one creative symbol to unify all POPS locations,” said Councilmember Rafael Salamanca, the Council’s Land Use Committee chairperson.

Participants can submit their designs to the competition’s Web site by Fri., March 15. Submissions will be on view at a public event in March, where visitors will vote for their favorites. Three finalists — chosen by the public vote and a panel of judges — will be announced May 20 and win $2,000. The Department of City Planning’s director will then select a winner who will win an extra $2,000.

To find a POPS near you, click here .

For more information about the logo design competition, click here