Federal Plaza / Foley Square

New York City, NY

Contributed by Project for Public Spaces

An awesomely bad complex so disjointed it boggles the mind.

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Why It Doesn't Work

This awesomely bad complex is so disjointed it boggles the mind. It comprises an array of separate plazas and park spaces, none of which engage human beings. Traffic dominates, along with illegal on-street parking that greatly diminishes the pedestrian experience. Five years removed from the attacks of September 11th, security measures still appear ad-hoc and needlessly oppressive. The city's largest federal property ought to be a major destination that citizens would be proud to visit and show off to visitors. Surrounding streets should connect pedestrians to downtown's major assets just short blocks away, creating a whole greater than the sum of its parts. What a shame that Federal Plaza doesn't fulfill even a modicum of this ideal purpose.

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