public space

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Many visitors to San Francisco’s western neighborhoods enjoy the sweeping ocean view from above the ruins of the Sutro Baths. But, it’s pretty windy out there, which makes it difficult to enjoy at times. That is part of the reason for the new visitors center that opened there over the weekend. Catherine Barner is Vice President of Projects and Stewardship for the Golden Gate Parks National Conservancy.

The state has seen a huge drop in public funding for public space. Over the past year, a quarter of state parks have closed indefinitely, because the state doesn’t have the money to maintain them. In their place are more and more spaces that are open to public use, but privately owned. This is actually nothing new. People find themselves in public-private spaces all the time: cafes; shopping malls; or even some parks like Zuccotti in Manhattan, the starting place of the Occupy Wall Street movement.