Reclaiming Public Space

No, no, no, no, no! Photo by Jym Dyer. Frisbees and bicycles prohibited in the park,
but feel free to drive well over the speed limit.

Taking our right place on the streets and in parks. Establishing and defending community gardens. Fighting to protect our air and water. Being an urban environmental group means that a common thread runs through the things we do: reclaiming public space.

Across America and throughout the world, public spaces and public resources are being sold to big businesses. New York in particular is being hit very hard. In our park system we see more fences, more private enterprises, more restrictions, and a new law prohibiting more than twenty people from assembling without a permit. Our streets, of course, are dominated by cars. Even one of our most precious resources — water — is being lost to privatization. In Bergen County, New Jersey, a multi-national company has bought up the water supply and the watershed. Already, they’ve appropriated the watershed — an area meant to be left undeveloped to protect the water — to build houses and apartment complexes.

TIME’S UP! is part of the ongoing struggle to resist these encroachments. For years TIME’S UP! has supported a community-based
environmental perspective on public space, and helped defend public spaces from private takeover. Campaigns such as

Reclaim the Streets