Innovative Awards Program Challenges the Convention
New York, NY (June 7, 2001) – Park users are being asked to nominate their favorite park for the country’s first ever awards program to honor people-friendly places.

Project for Public Spaces – which has an international reputation for its work on the design and management of public spaces – wants to challenge conventional landscape design awards, believing that they give little or no thought to users of award-winning spaces.

Fred Kent, President of Project for Public Spaces says:

“In conventional design awards the process is too narrowly defined. The question is, do people go there – not whether or not it looks good on a magazine cover.

“We’ve always been wary of awards at Project for Public Spaces, but then we realized it’s the way they are done that’s the problem. So now we’re offering an alternative that will bring attention to good practice – and at the same time, we’re challenging the professionals to rethink the way they evaluate success. Parks have a key role in revitalizing our cities – but they must have the pride and ownership of the people who use them”.

The three new Great Parks, Great Cities Awards will be inaugurated this summer by Project for Public Spaces as part of its seventh annual conference on urban parks.

The conference will bring together 300 parks leaders from cities across the U.S. and will feature presentations by some of the nation’s key figures.

Notes for the editor
1) Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit, founded in 1975 to continue the pioneering work of William H. Whyte (The Organization Man, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces). Using observation, time-lapse filming and interviews, we have helped over 1,000 communities across the US design ‘people places’, alive with vitality and commerce.

2) The winners of the Great Parks, Great Cities 2001 Award will be announced at the conference. The awards are being initiated by Project for Public Spaces to acknowledge that an attractive, active, well-functioning public space can jumpstart the comeback of a community – from a small suburban or rural town to a highly urbanized city.

3) The Great Parks, Great Cities conference will be held in New York City, July 28-31, 2001. It is the seventh annual conference run by Project for Public Spaces. The conference will bring together the most influential leaders from cities across the US to highlight the significance of parks and open spaces in urban revitalization.

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