• Named Top Ten 2013 Books by Planetizen

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The Occupy Wall Street movement has challenged the physical manifestation of the First Amendment rights to freedom of assembly. Where and how can people congregate today? Forty social scientists, planners, architects, and civil liberties experts explore the definition, use, role, and importance of public space for the exercise of our democratic rights to free expression. The book also discusses whose voice is heard and what factors limit the participation of minorities in Occupy activities. This foundational work puts issues of democracy and civic engagement back into the center of dialogue about the built environment.


Beyond Zuccotti Park is a collaborative effort of Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment, City College of New York School of Architecture, New Village Press and its parent organization, Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility. The book is part of an open civic inquiry on the part of these organizations. The project was seeded by a series of free public forums—Freedom of Assembly: Public Space Today—held at the Center for Architecture in response to the forced clearance of Occupy activities from Zuccotti Park and public plazas throughout the country. The first two recorded programs took place on December 17, 2011 and February 4, 2012.

Ronald Shiffman, FAICP, is the former director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, which he cofounded in 1964. He was awarded the 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership for his work to promote community-based activism over the last fifty years.

Rick Bell, FAIA, is executive director of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He was instrumental in the creation of AIA's New York New Visions design and planning coalition, which has helped to catalyze and critique the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan.

Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, DPACSA, is the principal of Lance Jay Brown Architecture + Urban Design in New York City, fellow of the Institute for Urban Design, ACSA Distinguished Professor at the Spitzer School of Architecture, CCNY, and president-elect 2014 of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter.

Lynne Elizabeth is founder and director of New Village Press. She is the past president of Architects/ Designers/ Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), a public-benefit educational organization founded in 1981 that works for peace, environmental protection, social justice, and development of healthy communities.


Title Beyond Zuccotti Park
Subtitle Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space
Foreword by Michael Kimmelman
Prize Named Top Ten 2013 Books by Planetizen
Publisher New Village Press
BISAC Subject Heading ARC010000 ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning
Audience 01 General / trade
Credit New Village Press
Title First Published 02 October 2012
Subject Scheme Identifier Code      93 Thema subject category: AMVD      93 Thema subject category: JPA      93 Thema subject category: JB
Includes Index; Appendices






1. Occupy!

    Occupying Public Space, 2011: From Tahrir Square to Zuccotti Park

    Occupy Wall Street, Social Movements, and Contested Space

    "A Stiff Clarifying Test Is in Order": Occupy and Negotiating Rights in Public Space

    Being There

    Politics Out of Place: Occupy Wall Street and the Rhetoric of "Filth"

    To Occupy

    The Office of the People

    Some Unresolved Constitutional Questions

2. Emplacing Equity and Social Justice

    Making Public, Beyond Public Space

    Freedom Corner: Reflections on a Public Space for Dissent in a Fractured City

    Occupying Dissent: A Conversation with Maya Wiley

    Whose Voice: The Limited Participation of Color in the Occupy Movement

    Emplacing Democratic Design

3. Reimaging Public Space

    The Sidewalks of New York

    Radical Imagination

    Room to Grow Something

    Openhearted Cities

    Life and Death in Public Places

4. Public Space Over Time

    The Grass Is Always Greener: A Brief History of Public Space and Protest in New York City and London

    The Romance of Public Space

    Places that Matter: Zuccotti Park Before / After / Now

    Public Space and Its Disconnects

    Public Space Then and in the Future

    Pushing Back Boundaries: How Social Movements Are Redefining the Public Space

5. Responsive Change

  5.1 Public Sector Agents of Change

    Occupy and the Provision of Public Space: The Cityʼs Responsibilities

    Is "Public Space" Possible?

    Making—and Governing—Places for Democracy

    Making Cities Work

  5.2 Designers and Developers as Agents of Change

    Blurring the Boundaries to Keep Public Space Public

    When Domestic Space Meets Civic Space: A Case for Design Populism

    Shaping Public Space, Shaping Our City

    Public Space: Opening Streets and Sidewalks

    Designed to Be Occupied

    POPS, Out of the Shadows: A Designer's Perspective

    Developing the Public Realm: A Conversation with Jonathan Rose

    Programming Public Space: A Conversation with Carlton Brown




Additional Materials

Beyond Zuccotti Park video

Three-minute video introducing the book with clips from lead editor Ron Shiffman and coeditor Lynne Elizabeth


Jan 1, 2013
The occupation of Beyond Zuccotti Park and the Occupy Wall Street Movement inspired a flurry of ideas and excitement, and led to a cacophony of debates about public space, protest, and the meaning of the movement. A year later, our tents long stashed away, many of us imagined that the conversation was closed. Instead, just a year after OWS led to public encampments in cities across the US, Beyond Zuccotti Park provides a fantastic collection of celebrations and criticisms of OWS. This collection of essays includes contributions from notable academics, activists, city officials, social service professionals, and design practitioners. The diversity of authors mirrors the broad range of debates that the movement inspired, and the pieces in the volume address themes ranging from public space and democracy, to New York's privately owned public spaces, to populist design.

- Matt Wade, Berkeley Planning Journal

A free and open public discussion is well understood to be fundamental to a democracy. Beyond Zuccotti Park confirms how important accessible open space is to that public discussion and illuminates the policy issues raised by the Occupy Wall Street movement. This diverse collection of voices raises important questions about how to define a genuine public space that is not merely a poor excuse for a zoning bonus that in the end actually limits the public access promised.
- Roberta Brandes Gratz, author of The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs

Beyond Zuccotti Park is an insightful and relevant book that challenges us to think differently about the role of public space for civic engagement. If you believe in the First Amendment's right to freedom of assembly, then this is the book to read.
- Mitchell Silver, AICP, President, American Planning Association

What was it about Zuccotti Park, and other public spaces around the world, that helps explain its success? And how can we preserve and strengthen such spaces as places of protest? This book, like Zuccotti itself, is a site of vigorous conversation, hard thinking, and bold proposals on such issues.
- Mike Wallace, coauthor of Pulitzer Prize-winning Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898

eJournal of Public Affairs
Apr 30, 2013
..."Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space serves as a document of the first iteration of the Occupy Wall Street Movement in downtown Manhattan before it spread to other cities across the country. A project of Architects/Designers/ Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), the volume brings together professionals in the field as well as activists, scholars, an ACLU attorney, and even an official from Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration, to explore the relationship between public space and democratic action. In this volume you will find a breathless quality to the thick descriptions of the encampment from participant-observers, along with appreciative nods from the other contributors as they place the movement in some larger political and historical context. Photos depict the various phases of the occupation

- Adele Oltman, eJournal of Public Affairs

Dec 10, 2012
Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space made Planetizen's top 10 list of books in urban planning, design, and development published in 2012!

"The Planetizen editorial staff based this year's list on a number of criteria, including editorial reviews, popularity, number of references, sales figures, recommendations from experts and the book's potential impact on the urban planning, development and design professions.

- Planetizen

Beyond Zuccotti Park is part of a larger collaborative initiative, Democracy, Equity and the Public Realm, that includes a traveling photographic exhibition and a series of public forums, public and academic study groups, and a website. The book and exhibit launch will be held in New York City in September, 2012, with related events in Oakland/Berkeley, Seattle, Boston, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, and Washington, DC. The initiative is building public understanding around issues of democracy and equity, while improving the design, use, and access to public spaces for free expression.

Publishers Weekly
Jan 7, 2013
In this essay collection, the Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS) presents the catalyst for a multitude of writers to discuss public space, private space, and civic demonstration and assemblage in the gray areas that arise in between.  Essays on recent sites of protest, from Zuccotti Park to Tahrir Square, lead off the book's five sections, advocating "for a more reliable guarantee of the public's access" to these locations. A systematic breakdown of City Planning

- Publishers Weekly

Sep 26, 2012
Last year the Center for Architecture initiated a series of discussions titled Freedom of Assembly, the first of which, in December 2011, was a swift reflection upon the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. Last Sunday was the third panel of the series that accompanied an exhibition entitled "Beyond Zuccotti Park." The exhibition, in turn, is derived from a book by the same name. In all, the Center has become a forum for one of the most relevant intersections of occupy-thinking and standard architecture and planning practices.

- Greta Hansen, e-Oculus

In the Progressive Planning Magazine Fall 2012 issue, an article was adapted from A Call for Actions by Ron Shiffman and Jeffrey Hou, a chapter from Beyond Zuccotti Park. Below is an excerpt:

"...We need to be vigilant to ensure that both the availability of public space and the policies that govern its use in no way impede the right to assemble. Rules need to be assessed and promoted that allow us, and our neighbors, to engage in activities that lead to social inclusion. Remember that most of our cities are pluralistic and not homogeneous. Too many of our neighborhoods are the opposite.

- Progressive Planning Magazine

New York Times Metro
Sep 21, 2012
If it is still too soon to deliver a verdict on Occupy Wall Street's ultimate legacy, last week’s demonstrations for the movement’s one-year anniversary elevate "Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space" (New Village Press, $19.95) into a timely perspective on public protest.

The anthology includes essays by architects, academics and social critics, including Marshall Berman, Peter Marcuse and Alexander Cooper, and transcribed conversations between Ron Shiffman, one of the editors, and urban planners.

The book's general premise is unarguable: "We need to be vigilant to assure that both the availability of public space and the policies that govern its use in no way impede the right to assemble." ...
- Sam Roberts, New York Times Metro

A Daily Dose of Architecture
Feb 26, 2013
You can't evict an idea whose time has come.

The above words were written when New York City police were evicting Liberty Square (aka Zuccotti Park) and the Occupy Wall Street encampment in November 2011. The statement attempts to maintain the momentum that OWS had gained since taking over Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan on September 17 of the same year. But it also implies that the idea is more important than the physical occupation of (semi-)public space, and therefore the latter is not as important or not integral to the movement. Given that OWS is nowhere to be found in the news 15 months after the eviction, this would seem to indicate that physical presence in public space is really important after all. But even if OWS lies in wait, did those two short months have a lasting impact on how public spaces are seen and used? And what does the movement point to in the design and evolution of the city, particularly in regard to open and public spaces?

- John Hill, A Daily Dose of Architecture

Sep 26, 2012
...The essays are as eclectic as the writers' viewpoints, making them rich and provocative. The common thread, which is so clearly stated in the book’s acknowledgements, is their "commitment to the important role that public space, universal access, equity, and design can play to enhance democracy and promote freedom of expression." The concepts of public commons and the agora became part of the conversation not only within the context of cultural citizenship, but also in the vital role design plays in forming the public sector.

- Maxinne Rhea Leighton, Assoc. AIA, e-Oculus

Rockefeller Foundation
Oct 10, 2012
Today The Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Judith Rodin announced the recipients of the 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal – Ronald Shiffman, Rosanne Haggerty, Carl Skelton, and the team from ioby – Erin Barnes, Brandon Whitney, and Cassie Flynn. The Medals are awarded each year to recipients whose work creates new ways of seeing and understanding New York City, challenges traditional assumptions and creatively uses the urban environment to make New York City a place of hope and expectation...

- Rockefeller Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation

This Big City
Oct 15, 2012
Dedicated to "our grandkids, their friends, and their generation", the collection of works truly takes a visionary approach by offering solutions and recommendations to the problem of decreasing public engagement for current and future generations. Anyone who wishes to spark change and engage ordinary citizens in a discourse that is rightfully theirs will be inspired by this book.

- Janey Lee , This Big City

Oct 17, 2012
Lending another, more profound perspective to the import of public space is the recent publication of Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space (New Village Press, $19.95). A compilation of critical opinion cobbled together following the aborted Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, the book's essays survey the importance of public space as a forum for citizen expression granted by the US Constitution and how it has been compromised by the powers-that-be. At issue is no less than essence of democracy, so state Lance Jay Brown and Ron Shiffman, activist academics among the distinguished editors, in a forceful introduction.

- Sam Hall Kaplan, Planetizen

Midwest Book Review
Oct 1, 2012
The right to peacefully assemble is one of the most treasured rights of the constitution. Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space explores the Occupy movements over recent history and how they have brought a new challenge to the concerns surrounding the right to assembly and the legal battles that have spilled forth, as people have used the right to assembly strongly in their pursuit of social justice. Beyond Zucotti Park is a fine collection of thoughts and articles on the movement and the change it has made in ways that have not been expected in social planning and other elements of society, highly recommended.
- Midwest Book Review

New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman asks, "Where are the spaces in which we act as a community? Who governs them? Who decides their design? Their use? And should we blur the controls, the boundaries, the authority, and the thresholds between public and private space, between streets and sidewalks?" The Occupy Wall Street movement has challenged the physical manifestation of the First Amendment right to freedom of assembly. In a new book, 41 social scientists, planners, architects and civil liberties experts -- including Saskia Sassen and Michael Sorkin -- explore the definition, use, role and importance of public space for the exercise of our democratic rights to free expression.

The Design Observer/Places
Sep 24, 2012
[Jeffrey Hou's chapter from Beyond Zuccotti Park was reprinted with beautiful and rich visuals in Design Observer/Places]

On the streets near Yoyogi Park in Tokyo, young musicians defy the official rule and transform the sidewalks into a performance space. In the entrance to the HSBC Headquarters in Hong Kong, Filipino guest workers congregate on Sundays and the generic corporate foyer becomes a festive gathering place. In East Los Angeles, Latino residents have retrofitted streets, buildings and residential front yards to support a culturally richer and more vibrant social life. Every day, vendors from Mumbai to Madrid repurpose city streets into temporary markets — legal or illegal. Across North America, immigrant groups have created sanctuaries and refuges in ethnic malls and multicultural neighborhoods and suburbs. These are just a few examples of how citizens are reshaping public spaces — and urban life — in cities around the world. [1]

- The Design Observer/Places

Anniversaries help us remember something they may have otherwise forgotten—something significant happened almost exactly a year ago in New York, at Zuccotti Park. Our current show "Beyond Zuccotti Park," at the Center for Architecture through September 22 marks the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.

We're a design and architecture center, a block away from Washington Square Park, where there may be some activity this weekend. I’m the director of the center, but for this show I stepped in as curator. We came up with a way to make words on the wall seem like the posters that were at Zuccotti Park and some of the other Occupy sites in the rest of the country. We want to convey the idea that freedom of speech and assembly is about people coming together for a democratic and political purpose: not just to play chess.

- Center for Architecture, Good

Jul 30, 2012
New York City has these strange beasts called Privately Owned Public Spaces (or POPS), which were put to some significant tests for the first time in recent history during the Occupy Wall Street protests. Many planners were watching the protests to see if privately owned spaces, like Zuccotti Park, could truly operate as public spaces for protest and debate, as the public realm in a democratic republic like ours should. This is an important issue, because there are so few truly public spaces (that are not parks or streets) in this big city....

Anyway, I am very excited about the book Beyond Zuccotti Park being released later this year. For transparency's sake, note that I have studied under both an editor and a contributor, but even if that lends some fuel to my enthusiasm, this is a topic that is very important to Americans being able to utilize their rights.
- alinefader, PlaNYourCity

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