Privately Owned Public Spaces

 Created 8 months ago, modified 4 months ago

This dataset provides locations of open spaces in London identified by research and data analysis as Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS), based on the definition below and available data in 2017. This is not a fully comprehensive dataset and is based on multiple sources of information. Subsequent versions will provide updates as more information becomes available. Read more here.

The dataset has been created by Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC (GiGL). GiGL mobilises, curates and shares data that underpin our knowledge of London’s natural environment. We provide impartial evidence to enable informed discussion and decision-making in policy and practice.

GiGL maps under licence from the Greater London Authority. Research for this dataset has been assisted by The Guardian Cities team.

Data sources

Boundaries and attributes are based on GiGL’s Open Space dataset, which is a collated dataset of spatial and attribute information from various sources, including: habitat and open space survey information provided to GiGL by the GLA and London boroughs, borough open space survey information where provided to GiGL or available under open licence, other attribute information inferred from field visits or research. Available open space information has been analysed by GiGL to identify POPS included in this dataset. Future updates to the GiGL Open Space dataset will inform future, improved releases of the POPS dataset.


For the purposes of creating the dataset, POPS have been carefully defined as below. The definition is based on review of similar definitions internationally and appropriateness for application to available London data.

Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS): publicly accessible spaces which are provided and maintained by private developers, offices or residential building owners. They include city squares, atriums and small parks. The spaces provide several functional amenities for the public. They are free to enter and may be open 24 hours or have restricted access arrangements. Whilst the spaces look public, there are often constraints to use.

For the Greater London dataset no consideration is taken as to a site’s formal status in planning considerations, and only unenclosed POPS are included.

POPS may be destination spaces, which attract visitors from outside of the space’s immediate area and are designed for use by a broad audience, or neighbourhood spaces, which draw residents and employees from the immediate locale and are usually strongly linked with the adjacent street or host building. These spaces are of high quality and include a range of amenities. The POPS may also be a hiatus space, accommodating the passing user for a brief stop only – for example it may include seating but few other amenities, a circulation space, designed to improve a pedestrian’s journey from A to B, or a marginal space, which whilst a public space is not very accommodating and experiences low levels of usage. (Ref: Privately Owned Public Space: The New York City Experience, by Jerold S. Kayden, The New York City Department of City Planning, and the Municipal Art Society of New York, published by John Wiley & Sons, 2000).

NOTE: The boundaries are based on Ordnance Survey mapping and the data is published under Ordnance Survey's 'presumption to publish'.

Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database rights 2017.

  Data & Resources

GiGL_POPS.csv  (16.01 kB)
zip  (88.68 kB)
zip  (179.79 kB)

  Additional Info