Private management of public space
Davis, Brittany Yvonne
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Atlanta’s premier park, Piedmont Park, operates under a public-private partnership between the Piedmont Park Conservancy and the City of Atlanta. Controversies within the park raise important questions about the consequences of allowing a private group (the PPC) to control a public park, the extent of the PPC’s authority, and the implications for the park’s status as a public space. Drawing largely on interviews and newspaper articles, this thesis explores the ramifications of this partnership through analysis of the partnership’s mechanics. Using this as a foundation, attention turns to how the partnership affects various groups of park users, the condition of the park, and the park’s ability to function as a public space. As privatization and public-private partnerships escalate, it is increasingly important to examine the specifics of each partnership and ensure the arrangement allows for accountability and continued public control and oversight of public resources.