Parks have been a core focus of PPS beginning with our work with William H. (Holly) Whyte and our signature early projects like the Bryant Park concept plan. Over the years we have helped many cities create such great public destinations. Today, as more people come to recognize the galvanizing power of parks, we are working with communities to transform more underperforming spaces into great parks than ever before.

How is PPS different?

We start by truly understanding how people will use a place and what activities will draw them there. Design cannot be the starting point for creating a great place. Within any successful park, there should be several dynamic destinations that attract different kinds of people. These destinations should offer many things to do, such as socializing, eating, reading, playing a game, interacting with art, and so on. Creating a great public space requires helping communities articulate a vision for these activities and destinations. From this Placemaking process, PPS creates a concept plan–a program for uses, activities, and destinations–which may lead to a more detailed design phase.

Visitors relax on Bryant Park's movable chairs.

Why Parks?

Parks have an ability to accommodate many different types of uses and people. They are where you might meet a friend for lunch, stage an outdoor concert for thousands, or just relax and read a book.

Bryant Park, New York, New York

PPS and William H. Whyte developed recommendations to turn around Bryant Park. Formerly well-known due to its former derelict and intimidating state, Bryant Park now is one of the most successful and most visited parks in New York.

Houston Downtown Park, Houston, Texas

Concept plan for Houston Downtown Park.

Set in the heart of Houston’s downtown, an expanse of underused land is being redeveloped into a downtown urban park. Through a broad community process, PPS was able to develop a conceptual and a site activity plan for the park.

How can PPS help you?

We will work with your community to create a concept plan that identifies activities and destinations that will attract people. We will also identify key partners for implementation, funding, creating programs, and managing the space to make the plan sustainable in the long run. Read more about PPS’s services for parks.