The five proposals for Governors Island hold clues to what’s right and wrong about how public space is designed.

“All five concepts are thoughtful approaches to a complex design problem. And the emphasis on public space is reassuring; responses to the agency’s earlier requests for proposals typically included more commercial development. But the five plans still fall short of the sweeping ambition such a unique parcel of undeveloped public land in New York City should inspire. We are mostly left with good intentions.”