The most successful downtowns, waterfronts, town centers and commercial hubs present a rich array of places where the life of the community–its organized activities as well as its spontaneous interactions–plays out. What these communities have in common is a network of streets, paths, parks and squares that hold the neighborhood together and provide the stage on which public lives are played. The ground floors enjoy a tight, symbiotic relationship with the public spaces, forming a seamless transition between indoors and out.
PPS works with developers and communities to create these kinds of neighborhoods, where a broad array of new types of activities and destinations located in close proximity to each other result in the same dynamic conditions that attracted people to older cities and neighborhoods. We have studied the characteristics of successful urban settlements, and especially the web of public spaces that knit them together, and apply what we have learned to the planning, programming, design and management of new communities. We ensure that new developments:
- Begin with the public spaces as the basic framework around which housing, retail and commercial development are planned and designed;
- Build a strong sense of community by creating social gathering places, developing a sense of stewardship among its residents and providing places for community events;
- Reflect a consensus among the development team, the community and the public sector regarding goals and management strategies;
Provide a sense of place and a variety of destinations: The Power of Ten; Offer a wide-range of uses and activities so that they are vibrant and well-used; Support transit options and smart growth principles; Are well-integrated into existing communities or surrounding areas; Are well-managed and programmed and take advantage of public-private partnerships in their operation.