The Alliance for Public Space Leadership (APSL) advocates for achieving equitable solutions and effective management of New York City’s public spaces. This public realm (streets, parks, plazas and other aspects of the built environment) is critical to our communities. These spaces support the city’s economic vitality, connect New Yorkers to each other, aid in the health and well-being of city residents, address environmental concerns, and are necessary to the survival of plants and animals.
APSL was co-founded by New Yorkers for Parks alongside the Municipal Art Society of New York, the American Institute of Architects-New York, and Open Plans. These organizations joined together to advocate for new public space leadership in New York City, focused on better planning, investment and management of public spaces, and anchored by the creation of an Office of the Public Realm.
Since then, over 50 organizations have joined the Alliance, finding value in the platform to help address issues faced across different neighborhoods. Our city’s public space obstacles range from the inequitable distribution of critical resources such as sunlight, trees, clean air, bike lanes, parks, waterfront access, and programming, to the accessibility and implementation measures of open space. We have a new mayoral administration and City Council, both eager to make progress in our public spaces. New leadership provides an opportunity for a proactive, holistic approach to how New Yorkers interact with the public realm. APSL is made up of community-based advocacy organizations, small businesses and street vendors, business improvement districts (BIDs), disability advocates, design professionals, open street volunteers, park conservancies, and others who have collectively been working through ways to improve New York’s public realm.