Well, public space is public space, but if it is bland and relatively unwelcoming, most people will pass it by without noticing. In an effort to help people make more use of their spaces, the NYC Department of Transportation created the Pop-up Café Program about two years ago.
The NYC DOT “teams with local restaurants to provide outdoor public seating in areas where sidewalk seating was previously unavailable,” Beth Buczynski of sister site Insteading notes. “They use small but well-designed parcels of sidewalk or parking space to create miniature patios for warm weather seating. The seating is open to the public and no purchase at the partner restaurants is required.”
Here’s a time-lapse video of pop-up café at Local (144 Sullivan St.) in Greenwich Village:
Beth notes that it was visited and used by 96 people in this one day.
Of course, this is good for local businesses and is also good for local residents who want to have a nice, relaxing place to commune with others in public.
“Similar programs are ‘popping up’ in California, Pennsylvania and Canada, with more on the way,” Beth notes.