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!


We traveled to Nairobi as part of Transforming Cities through Placemaking & Public Spaces, our joint program with UN-Habitat. (Photo: PPS)


Just last week, we announced the exciting news that PPS will be leading the National Endowment for the Arts' Citizens' Institute on Rural Design as part of our work with the Orton Family Foundation and its new CommunityMatters partnership. We're looking forward to putting lessons learned from recent work in rural communities, like the above-pictured plan for the future of Windham, NH's Village Center, to good use! (Photo: PPS)


We’ve had the pleasure of working on some of the most treasured places in Detroit, including Eastern Market, the largest public markets in the country, where we developed a comprehensive outreach program to foster closer links between the market and the community. Michiganders have taken to championing Placemaking, as well, from the grassroots to the real estate community the governor's office. (Photo: PPS)


You’ll be able to learn from farmers markets and public markets around the world at the 8th International Public Markets Conference, which will take place in Cleveland, OH, this September 21-23. It will be a great opportunity to explore how “market cities” are revitalizing their neighborhoods by focusing on creating healthy places. (Photo: PPS)


Inspired by PPS’s work, Philadelphia’s University City District has created “The Porch,” a Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper public plaza at a major transportation hub downtown. Philly is one of ten communities to receive free technical assistance from the Livability Solutions partnership on major Placemaking projects thanks to an EPA Technical Assistance Sustainable Communities Grant. (Photo: PlanPhilly via Flickr)


We’re looking forward to traveling to one of our very favorite places, Vancouver’s Granville Island, with a group of civic leaders from Salt Lake City to help Utah’s capital develop a leadership agenda around key destinations. We’ll also be hosting another round of Placemaking trainings at our office in New York City this fall—dates coming soon! (Photo: PPS)


Our team of transportation experts has been very busy working with cities and towns around the world. You can meet and chat with them at this year's Pro Walk/Pro Bike: Pro Place conference in Long Beach (Sept. 10-13, 2012), which will put a fresh spin on North America's premier event for bike/ped advocates and enthusiasts by focusing the conversation on how transportation can help create great places. (Photo: PPS)


San Antonio’s appetite for Placemaking has made turned it into what we like to call a “popping city. We’ve recently worked on recommendations for Alamo Plaza (pictured above during the Luminaria festival), participated in the Downtown Transportation Study, worked with Rackspace on a public space plan for their headquarters, and participated in planning for the revamp of HemisFair Park—all within the past few months! (Photo: PPS)


We’ve been working on the Perth Cultural Centre in Australia, helping the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority to re-think the campus as a true cultural hub by focusing on Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper tactics (like the concert pictured above), busting silos and bringing art out into the streets. The results have been astounding! (Photo: MRA)

A Revolution in Placemaking was last modified: July 3rd, 2012 by Project for Public Spaces