1st Edition

Manhattan's Public Spaces
Production, Revitalization, Commodification

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 30, 2021
ISBN 9781032056401
November 30, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
208 Pages 54 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Manhattan’s Public Spaces: Production, Revitalization, Commodification analyzes a series of architectural works and their contribution to New York’s public space over the past few decades. By exploring a mix of urban mechanisms, supportive frameworks, legal systems and planning guidelines for the transformation of the city’s collective realm, the text frames Manhattan as a controversial landscape of interests and concerns to authorities, communities, and, very importantly, developers. 

The production, revitalization and commodification of Manhattan’s public spaces, as a phenomenon and as a subject of study, also highlights the vicissitudes of the reconciliation of the many different agents, which are part of the process. The challenge of the book does not only lie in the analysis of good design, but more importantly, in how to understand the functional mechanisms for the current trends in the production of space for public use. A complex framework of actors, governance and market monopolies, which invites the reader to participate in the debate of how these interventions contribute, or not, to an inclusive environment anchored in the existing built fabric.

Manhattan’s Public Spaces invites reflection on the revitalization of the city’s shared space from all dimensions. Beautifully illustrated in black and white, with over 50 images, this book will be of interest to scholars and students in architecture, planning and urban design.

Table of Contents


Robert Fishman


Privacy vs. publicness in an increasingly shared city

PART I: Production
In the making of openness, incentive mechanisms and corporate capitalism

1 Goodbye, La Guardia
2 Lever House and Seagram Plaza

3 ´Plaza Bonus´: One Chase Manhattan, 140 Broadway and One Liberty

PART II: Revitalization

Participatory processes and the critical engagement with recreational demands

4 Crisis and opportunity

5 Harlem and Paley Park: collaborative inventions

6 Teardrop Park: reinventing urban grounds

PART III: Commodification

Constituting identities and antagonistic encounters within the neoliberal city

7 Battery Park City vs. Gantry Park

8 The logic of the air rights

9 Identity crisis: Lincoln Center and the High Line


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Ana Morcillo Pallarés is a Spanish architect, researcher and designer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Cieza, Spain. Her research and creative practice critically engage today’s increasing need for more shared space as an ongoing process of continuous agreements among very diverse actors who are part of the city. Her work has been featured in the Journal of Architectural Education, VLC arquitectura, MONU, and the Plan Journal, among others. Ana is an assistant professor at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where she initiated her academic career as the 2015 Walter B. Sander Research Fellow. She received her Ph.D. from the Polytechnic School of Madrid and her professional degree in architecture from the Polytechnic School of Valencia.

In 2008, Morcillo Pallarés founded MPR, Morcillo Pallarés + Rule Arquitectos, an architectural studio whose research practice explores the architectural project at a variety of types and scales. The studio's work includes a number of acclaimed projects, most notably an art installation on the bridge of Amposta and an archeological museum in Molina de Segura (Spain). The office expands the agency of design through adaptive reuse, research materiality, digital interphase, and global experience with respect to local context.


This book is a remarkable window onto a unique moment in the history of New York – and the history of contemporary urban design - when squalor, decline, innovation and opportunity somehow existed simultaneously.

- Robert Fishman