Who Owns Zuccotti Park?Posted: October 10, 2011
Zuccotti Park, also known as Liberty Square or Liberty Plaza Park, is located near Wall Street, between Broadway, Trinity Place, Cedar Street and Liberty Street. It is privately owned by Brookfield Office Properties.
Haircuts were being given out near the Media Center on Day 20.
Because of certain zoning laws, Zuccotti Park falls under the category of a “Privately Owned Public Space.” According to NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the NYPD cannot ban anyone from the park, because it is a public plaza that is required to remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to NYC.gov, the 1961 Zoning Resolution encourages “private developers to provide spaces for the public within or outside their buildings by allowing them greater density in certain high-density districts.”
In coordination with the NY Department of City Planning and the Municipal Art Society of New York, Jerold S. Kayden published the book “Privately Owned Public Space: The New York City Experience” which is available in part on Google Books. There are many more of these spaces in the downtown area, which are listed here by NYC.gov, and could potentially offer more space to the growing movement.
After the hundreds of Brooklyn Bridge arrests, a table was set up to assist people in a class action suit.
Brookfield representatives have so far only commented on the sanitation of the park as well as saying that the occupiers are preventing the general public from using the space. In a statement issued on October 6, Brookfield stated, “Sanitation is a growing concern… Normally the park is cleaned and inspected every weeknight… because the protestors refuse to cooperate… the park has not been cleaned since Friday, September 16th and as a result, sanitary conditions have reached unacceptable levels.” It is unclear what action, if any, Brookfield intends to take regarding the removal of protestors for the time being.
Signs are posted in the flower beds asking protesters to steer clear and keep them litter-free.
It should be noted that while sanitation is most certainly a concern, the protesters have taken initiative on maintaining a clean and respectable living and working space within the park. A Sanitation Working Group was created and continues to receive volunteer help, though it is always looking for more assistance. As one walks through the park, even when it is most crowded, volunteers can be found sweeping litter, clearing trash from tables, and collecting bottles and cans for recycling. The occupiers are using a grey water system in the kitchen for cleaning and have been composting a considerable amount of food waste. Protesters have also posted signs in the flower beds asking for visitors and occupiers to respect the flowers, a request that has not been ignored.