Defense of the Public Realm

Join Craig Dykers, founder of Snøhetta and partner-in-charge of the Times Square plaza, to discuss the designer's critical role in dealing with security and freedom in public space.


Times Square is the most visited place in New York, with over 40 million people passing through every year. Designing an open space where people want to gather while considering the security concerns of a post-9/11 New York was a unique challenge.

Safety and security were critically important in designing New York's newest plaza, as evidenced by closing Broadway to car traffic and giving two-and-a-half acres back to pedestrians in the middle of Manhattan.

Learning objectives

  • Learn to identify key challenges associated with designing safe public spaces and strategies to foster a sense of collective security and physical and psychological well-being in dense urban environments.
  • Hear about Snøhetta's collaborative stakeholder engagement process and how they successfully negotiated with multiple city agencies and public interest groups.
  • Use data and information collected through Snøhetta's post-occupancy research process to explore how well-designed public spaces can positively impact the overall quality of city centers.
  • Explore key strategies that help foster a sense of collective ownership and public equity in open public spaces.
User rating:
Average: 4.5 (107 votes)
 $45  non-member
 $30  member
1.00 LU
  • HSW
  • GBCI
  • RIBA


  • Craig Dykers

    Founding Partner | Snøhetta

    Craig Dykers is a Founding Partner of Snøhetta. His interest in design as a promoter of social and...