Placemaking for Communities
Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Our pioneering Placemaking approach helps citizens transform their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs.
PPS was founded in 1975 to apply and expand on the work of William (Holly) Whyte, the author of The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Since then, we have completed projects in over 3000 communities in 43 countries and all 50 US states. Partnering with public and private organizations, federal, state and municipal agencies, business improvement districts, neighborhood associations and other civic groups, we improve communities by fostering successful public spaces.
Having been brought into to apply Placemaking in a broad range of contexts around the world, an increasing focus of our work is in training and capacity building, often helping to build local Placemaking organizations. PPS trains more than 10,000 people every year and reaches countless more through our websites and publications. PPS is the internationally recognized center for resources, tools and inspiration about Placemaking.
Through research, conferences, and strategic partnerships, PPS promotes Placemaking through a series of transformative agendas to address some of the most pressing issues of our time. Our Building Community Through Transportation agenda runs a biannual ProWalk/ProBike conference through our National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW) which is a resident program of PPS. Our leadership on Public Markets has included a regular international conference series as well.
Internationally, we are looking to influence the governance of developing cities and nations though our partnership with UN Habitat. We are doing this through trainings and projects and a joint conference series, called the Future of Places, that will culminate in a written document to encourage the adoption of Placemaking principles at the Habitat III UN global gathering in 2016.
Through the development of a Placemaking Leadership Council (including over 500 members) PPS is working to support a broad network to drive the further evolution of Placemaking and build its potential impact as a movement.
In its broadest application, Placemaking is a catalyst for building healthy, sustainable and economically viable cities of the future.