Press Releases

For Immediate Release
May 20, 2019

Rachaele Raynoff, Joe Marvilli – (212) 720-3471

NYC Department of City Planning, Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space and The Municipal Art Society of New York Announce New NYC POPS Logo

“Have a Seat” will be displayed at all POPS, signaling they are open to the public

Have a Seat

NEW YORK – Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Marisa Lago, Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space (APOPS) President Jerold S. Kayden, and The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) President Elizabeth Goldstein today announced a new logo to be displayed at New York City’s more than 550 plazas, arcades and other Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS).

The logo was one of 607 logo design submissions from nearly 60 countries in an international design competition sponsored by DCP, APOPS and MAS. The design matches the City’s goal of creating inviting public spaces with an abundance of amenities, with seating being a priority.

The selected logo depicting playfully-arranged chairs was designed by Emma Reed, a New York-based graphic designer. The design was selected following an international logo design competition.

"We challenged folks around the globe to design a logo for New York City’s beloved POPS – and the public responded with amazing creativity. There were so many incredible designs that it was hard to choose. But, the happy, almost-dancing, chairs of this logo bring a smile to your face, and say ‘Welcome!’” DCP Director Marisa Lago said.

A zoning text amendment will be introduced this week to codify requirements for posting of signs that incorporate the new POPS logo. The text will also allow for tables and chairs to be placed in POPS governed by old regulations that did not permit them.

“It was fascinating to see what 607 creators sought to communicate through their logos. The thread connecting the winning chair logo and many others was simple: POPS are for people,” said Jerold Kayden, the Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard University and President of Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space.

“This new logo will serve as a beacon, inviting New Yorkers to take a break from the bustle of everyday life,” said Elizabeth Goldstein, President of The Municipal Art Society. “POPS offer more than 80 acres of open space in some of the densest neighborhoods of the city and ‘Have a Seat’ will help ensure that passersby feel welcome to enjoy them.” 

“I'm so honored to have my design chosen as New York City's new Privately Owned Public Spaces logo. I've spent many of my lunch hours in a POPS in lower Manhattan which, in part, inspired me to submit a design!” said Emma Reed, designer of the new logo. She is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse University and has worked as a graphic designer in New York City for several years.

“For a community to thrive, it’s critical for neighbors to spend time around one and other and create shared experiences. That’s why it’s so important to invest in these public spaces. I applaud the hundreds of artists who submitted logos to promote the Privately Owned Public Spaces and especially Emma Reed, whose design perfectly symbolizes the spirit of togetherness,” said Council Member Francisco Moya, Chair of the Land Use Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises.

“As a mother and constituent, I value the time I have with my family in both outdoor and indoor spaces courtesy of POPS. This is no different for so many New Yorkers. The POPS logo is a recognition of the positive possibilities that can be made when private and public sectors join to better our communities. We congratulate the winner and various groups that made this effort a reality,” said Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo.

“New York City is an urban maze with an ever-changing landscape,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Privately Owned Public Spaces, or POPS, offer New Yorkers a reprieve and a place to rest, but if we cannot find them, what is the point? I hope New Yorkers become very familiar with the new logo and that the logo becomes synonymous with having a space to relax and enjoy a quiet moment in the middle of the City.”

“I am excited for the release of a new POPS logo which will let everyone know they have access to these public spaces. As many of the Brooklyn POPS are located right here in District 33, I see firsthand the benefit these public/private collaborations provide our communities and I look forward to the creation of even more shared space where people can enjoy our amazing city and borough,” said Council Member Stephen Levin.

“Privately Owned Public Spaces play a central role in Council Districts like mine that have limited green space in high-density environments. It’s great to see a new logo for POPS that reflects the uniqueness and importance of these little oases in our very busy city,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.

POPS are the result of City zoning regulations aimed at ensuring that the densest areas of the city offer outdoor and indoor places that are usable by the public without charge. The POPS program has produced nearly 3.8 million square feet of additional public space in the City – equivalent to roughly 66 football fields, 13 Union Squares or half of Governors Island.

POPS signage will be required to include the new logo, a statement that the space is open to the public, and other helpful information about the space, such as the hours it is open and amenities provided.

The new logo establishes a symbol for the city’s wide variety of POPS and old POPS logos will be gradually replaced. The public can expect to see the new official logo at POPS beginning early next year, and all POPS are required to post the new logo and other public information – including how to register a complaint about a POPS – by mid-2021.

Competition details:

In addition to being displayed online, all the logo submissions were shown at a public exhibit in March in New York City. Through extensive traditional and social media outreach, members of the public were encouraged to vote for their favorite logos. Around 17,000 votes were cast in total. A seven-person panel, along with the public vote, selected three awardees, each of whom will receive $2,000. The panel also selected two notable mentions. Per the competition rules, Director Lago chose “Have a Seat” from the top three designs to be New York City’s official POPS logo. Its designer will receive an additional $2,000. Financial awards were provided through a gift by Knoll. 

The two other awardees in the top three were Gensler’s New York City Brand Design studio for a design titled “More Than a Tree” and John Schettino for “Constellation.” In addition, the two notable mentions were Munich illustrator Derek Pommer’s “The Statue of Liberty Having a Break” and “POPS Nolli” by Ryan Crooks of Atlanta, Georgia. 

Details about the competition and images of the three awardee logos and two notable mentions can be found at

The seven members of the panel who, along with the public vote, selected the awardees and notable mentions are:

  • Jerold S. Kayden, Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard University and President, Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space (Presiding Panelist)
  • Glen Cummings, Creative Director, MTWTF
  • Katherine Farley, Chair, Lincoln Center Board of Directors
  • Elizabeth Goldstein, President, The Municipal Art Society of New York
  • Marisa Lago, Chair, New York City Planning Commission and Director, New York City Department of City Planning
  • Kim Mathews, Principal Emerita, MNLA
  • Justin Garrett Moore, Executive Director, New York City Public Design Commission

POPS are spaces dedicated to public use and enjoyment. They are developed, owned, and maintained by private property owners at no cost to the City. The city’s 550 POPS come in many shapes and sizes, located both outdoors and indoors. All POPS are now required to include public space signage, informing New Yorkers and visitors about hours of access, required amenities such as seating, and to report any complaints to 311. 

More information on POPS can be found at DCP’s recently updated web page, and its newly unveiled interactive map at, and at the APOPS|MAS website at

Media Contacts:
New York City Department of City Planning
Press Office, 212-720-3471

Jerold S. Kayden
Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space, 617-496-0830

Meaghan Baron
The Municipal Art Society of New York, 212-935-3960