On May 2nd Fred Kent gave the opening keynote to 700 leaders of Garden Clubs from every corner of the United States. The message resonated as a natural evolution for their powerful role in communities, leveraging their skills as practical implementers, social networkers and resourceful fundraisers.  The local garden club is often the first partner mentioned at our workshops to help implement short term improvements.  We will now look to Garden Clubs to play a leading role as conveners and facilitators of Placemaking in their communities.

To offer them a tool to support this potential role, PPS lead 200 of the conference attendees in an afternoon “Place Game” workshop to train them to use the tool to evaluate public spaces and kick start placemaking projects.  We were aided in facilitating the large crowd by 20 local partners involved in our Kennedy Plaza effort that saw the workshop as a good opportunity to get fresh ideas from the Garden Club members.

Greater Kennedy Plaza Placemaking May 2, 2009 from Russell Preston on Vimeo.

The video was also posted on CNU New England’s Sustainable Urbanism Summit blog, where blogger Russell Preston says:

A critical piece of creating a sustainable urbanism is pleasing and vibrant Public Space. As we move towards a more resilient way of planning for our villages, towns and cities, as Fred Kent says, we can no longer afford to only create “open space”. Our land is too valuable to not be used, be programmed and be enjoyed.

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