Since the Project for Public Spaces was founded in 1975,we have worked in thousands of communities around the world to help people shape their public spaces to create great Places, where locals feel a sense of ownership, and visitors don’t want to leave. Still, for as much fun as we’ve had, something feels different lately. There is a sense, in the cities that we visit and in what we hear from friends and colleagues from all points, that we are reaching a tipping point. We believe that we are at the beginning of a revolution in Placemaking.
Here in the US, we are part of several new partnerships and programs that will have us working in all 50 states, from big cities to small towns. The formation of major partnerships like Livability Solutions and CommunityMatters; PPS’s absorption of the National Center for Bicycling and Walking and the re-focusing of its Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference on the theme “Pro Place”; new work with federal and state agencies, including the EPA, NEA, and DOTs in multiple states–all of these events indicate a shift in the way that people are approaching their work, as they come to understand how focusing on place changes everything.
We are also working with the Ax:son Johnson Foundation and UN-Habitat to convene an international group of Placemaking leaders in Stockholm, Sweden, next summer. This event will be structured around the transformative agendas at the heart of our work, and will be the first of three major conferences leading up to Habitat III in 2016. We’re also bringing together the best and brightest place-centered minds for a Placemaking Leadership Council, which will meet for the first time at the end of the year, and will be instrumental in shaping our work as the Placemaking movement continues to grow.
These initiatives are the culmination of our work up to this point. We look forward to collaborating with our new partners on re-centering the discussion about sustainable, prosperous cities on Place, and to creating a “Town Square of Placemaking.” Below, we’ve rounded up photos from some of the most exciting work that we’re doing right now. There will be many opportunities in the coming months to plug into the growing global network of Placemakers. We’re looking forward to connecting with you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!