A healthy, dynamic, and inclusive city depends on the protection and promotion of what is collectively ours – parks, open space, libraries, museums, streetscapes, transportation, views, and other intangible resources like neighborhood character and access to light and air – upon which our quality of life depends.  How can we better safeguard and enhance these assets?  How can we ensure that all New Yorkers can share their benefits?

This reading list was assembled by MAS staff to provide some context to the discussions at the 2016 MAS Summit.  Many of the included items can be found in MAS's Greenacre Reference Library.

Please send your recommended additions to Joanna Crispe at



Positioning Your Museum as a Critical Community Asset: A Practical Guide

Robert P. Connolly and Elizabeth A. Bollwerk

American Association for State and Local History, 2016


Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution

Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow

Viking, 2016


Under the Elevated: Reclaiming Space, Connecting Communities

Caroline Bauer

Design Trust for Public Space, 2015


Guide to New York City Urban Landscapes

Robin Lynn and Francis Morrone

W.W. Norton and Company, 2013


Happy City: Transforming Our Lives through Urban Design

Charles Montgomery

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013


The Politics of Urban Beauty: New York & Its Art Commission

Michele Helene Bogart

University of Chicago Press, 2006


The Architecture of Literacy: the Carnegie Libraries of New York City

Mary B. Dierickx

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and the New York City Dept. of General Services, 1996


The Architecture of Public Justice: Historic Courthouses of the City of New York

Mary B. Dierickx

New York City Dept. of General Services, 1993


Shape Your Waterfront: How to Promote Access, Resiliency, and Ecology at the Water's Edge / Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines (WEDG)

Waterfront Alliance, 2016


Downtown Rising: How Brooklyn Became a Model for Urban Development

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, 2016


Roadmap for a 21st Century Times Square

Community Briefing Book for the Times Square Task Force, 2015


Re-Envisioning New York’s Branch Libraries

Center for an Urban Future, 2014


Places for People: A Public Realm Vision Plan for East Midtown

New York City Department of Transportation and New York City Department of City Planning, 2013


The Economics of Uniqueness: Investing in Historic City Cores and Cultural Heritage Assets for Sustainable Development

The World Bank, 2012


People Make Parks: A How-To Guide for Participating in Park Design

Partnership for Parks and Hester Street Collaborative


Measuring the Street: New Metrics for 21st Century Streets

The New York City Department of Transportation


The Important Difference between a Public Space and a 'Common'


Delivering Transportation Infrastructure through Public-Private Partnerships: Planning Concerns


Occupy Wall Street Protest Poses a Public-Private Conundrum


Who Really Owns Public Spaces?


Public Libraries and Economic Development


For Disaster Preparedness: Pack a Library Card?


A New Role for Local Libraries and Museums


Eleven Principles for Creating Great Community Places