New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently appointed the city’s first Chief Public Realm Officer. Ya-Ting Liu will coordinate across city government, community organizations and the private sector to create “extraordinary public spaces” with the goal of aiding the city’s economic recovery.
“Our city’s public spaces are too important to fall through the cracks of bureaucracy, and now they won’t,” said Mayor Adams. “New Yorkers need to know there is one person at City Hall whose number one goal is to improve their quality of life by creating incredible new public spaces and ensuring the ones we have are clean, equitable and safe. As someone who knows how to think big and ‘get stuff done’ for New Yorkers, Ya-Ting Liu is the right person to serve as the city’s first-ever Chief Public Realm Officer.”
Liu previously served as Chief Strategy Officer to NYC’s Deputy Mayor for Operations and will continue to hold the title concurrently with Chief Public Realm Officer. Before entering city government, Liu worked as the director of government affairs and policy for rideshare company Via.
“In New York City, the public realm is everyone’s living room. It’s where we eat, play and gather,” said Liu. “Having beautiful public spaces accessible to all people is one of our greatest assets – it is what makes New York City so special. I look forward to working with our businesses, community partners, and city agencies to build vibrant, attractive and inclusive public spaces in all five boroughs.”
Some of Liu’s initial projects will include working on a plan to invest US$375 million to create and expand high-quality public spaces across all the city’s boroughs, and permanent upgrades to Open Streets in the Bronx and on Staten Island. She will also lead the city government’s work to deliver a permanent outdoor dining program, with clear design guidelines and accessible tools for restaurant owners and communities.