Fred Kent.

There’s a nice interview with PPS president Fred Kent on the Atlantic’s website today, in which he discusses the Placemaking approach, the importance of community input, and what’s wrong with starchitects. Here’s a sample:

Placemaking is profoundly different from the normal design process. We say, ‘When you focus on place, you do everything differently.’ We bring attention to the particular place and its dynamic within the existing community. Then we focus the community’s ideas to build on that dynamic. The result? A plan emerges that is theirs, and which they can improve as it evolves….

Someone said to us after a meeting in Buffalo, “You have to turn everything upside down to get it right-side up.” A few years ago that idea would have been too hard to accept, but today people know what they want and they know what it will take to transform their communities into livable, healthy, sustainable engines for economic change — defined and driven by their special talents. People may not be trained in design, but intuitively they know what they like and what they don’t; where they will spend time and where they won’t. And increasingly they know how to get what they want.

Check out the whole thing here.