The Power of 10+ is a concept PPS developed to evaluate, and facilitate, Placemaking on all scales in a city. It is used as a powerful tool for engaging people in a contructive, focused conversation that can identify, and define, targeted Placemaking efforts. Cities fail and succeed at the human scale, the place scale, a scale that is often ignored in cities. The Power of 10+ shows how paying attention to the human experience at this scale, and building destinations and districts with places at this scale, can quickly transform how a city performs city-wide.

The theory follows that places thrive when they have a range of reasons (10+) to spend time in them, with no use or user group allowed to dominate, that they thrive. It is destinations, made of (10+) of such places, that can most powerfully transform how cities are perceived and participated in by tourists and locals alike.  And it is when urban centers have at least 10 great destinations or districts that they can become most resilient, innovative and open to the world.

Everywhere we bring up this idea, citizens become more energized to turn their places around. The Power of 10+ offers an easy framework that motivates residents and stakeholders to revitalize urban life, and shows that by starting efforts at the smallest scale you can accomplish big things. The concept also provides people something tangible to strive for and helps them visualize what it takes to make their community great.

A graphic visualization of the Power of 10+ using New York City and Bryant Park as an example to illustrate the concept

At the core of the Power of 10+ is the idea that any great place provides a layering of purpose to place for a broad range of uses. These could include a place to sit, playgrounds to enjoy, art to touch, music to hear, food to eat, history to experience, and people to meet. Ideally, some of these activities are unique to that particular spot and are interesting enough to keep people coming back.  The local folks who use the space most regularly are the best source of ideas for what uses will work best.

A great destination has at least 10 places within it, each with 10 things to do

It’s the Placemakers’ role to encourage everyone to think about what’s special in their communities. How many quality places are located nearby, and how are they connected? Are there places that should be more meaningful but aren’t? Answering these questions can help residents and stakeholders determine -both individually and collectively- where they need to focus their energies.

Whether you’re talking about places in a given neighborhood or great neighborhoods within a city, “10” can also refer to the ultimate goals of variety and choice. When we talk about the  “Power of 10+,” we are stressing the fact that we should always think of how Placemaking can be accomplished at all scales.

Learn more about the origins of the Power of 10+.