Theses Master's

Hudson Yards for Whom: Analysis of the Contribution of Hudson Yards in High-quality Public Space to New Yorkers

Cai, Jidong

This thesis examines the extent to which Hudson Yards, a large-scale mixed-use development in New York City (NYC), fulfills its commitment to providing high-quality public spaces for New Yorkers. The study focuses on three main aspects: accessibility, diversity, and place identity.

Employing a mixed-method approach, including site observation, GIS service area analysis, site plan analysis, tweets analysis, and an examination of historical public events and programs analysis, the study found that the Backyard at Hudson Yards does not provide sufficient accessibility design for people with disabilities.

Although the extension of the 7 subway line has made the site relatively accessible to the general public through public transit, the site does not offer an engaging environment that encourages frequent, recurring visits. The place identity is primarily tourism-centric, as most discussions about the site revolve around landmarks.

In conclusion, the Hudson Yards development has not achieved success in providing high-quality public space. This study contributes to the urban planning literature on high-quality public space, large-scale private development, and privately owned public space development (POPS) with a case study. The findings of this study emphasize the need for more inclusive design and planning practices in private developments, as well as the importantce of understanding the implications of such developments on various stakeholders.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Meisterlin, Leah M.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
August 2, 2023