Since our founding in 1975, PPS has helped improve and plan thousands of public spaces around the world. Using our groundbreaking tools for community process and planning, we've shaped parks, plazas, squares, waterfronts, campuses, public buildings, and more.

Our Public Space Services


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Place Evaluation & User Analysis

With 40 years of experience, PPS’s expertise in public space analysis is unparalleled. To begin a project, PPS can conduct an analysis of your space and its connections to the surrounding neighborhood. Using a combination of photography, interviews, and observations, PPS can determine which areas of a space are already functioning well and which need the most work. These observations serve to focus and provide context for community visioning efforts.

Example projects: Bryant Park

Community Engagement & Visioning

Our pioneering community engagement approaches and exercises have been used by hundreds of community groups, government agencies, and other organizations around the world. We work with you to design a meaningful process, which could include interviews with key stakeholders, Placemaking workshops, Power of 10 Exercises, Pop-Up Placemaking tents, surveys, and digital engagement.

Example projects: Crystal City

Programming

We firmly believe that the success of public spaces can largely be attributed to the activities, events, recreational uses and social gatherings that take place there, whether planned or spontaneous, ongoing or temporary. PPS can work with your team to develop a customized plan for regular year-round or seasonal regular programming plans for a space. We can also provide suggestions for events and other special activities based to take place over the life of a space.

Example projects: Sundance Square

Place Plans & Design

Based on the community visioning process and functional program plan, PPS can prepare concepts for a public space that includes details on amenities (including seating, lighting, and public art), landscape architecture, urban design, programming, links to the rest of the community, and more. This plan is typically summarized in a narrative describing possible short-term activations along with a long-term plan for the space.

Example projects: Middletown Riverfront

Management Plans

Management contributes as much as 80% to the success of a public space, and is key to ensure that a space is safe, comfortable, and well-used. PPS can work with you to develop an effective implementation and public space management strategy, which can include everything from recommendations for specific management entities to proper protocols for trash removal. We can also train management entities on the tasks involved in managing a vibrant public space.

Example projects: Seattle Civic Square

Design Review & Oversight

PPS can work with your team and local architects/designers to ensure that the design of a space supports the activities that will take place there. We have several architects and landscape architects on staff to prepare detailed designs, collaborate with local project architects/designers, and perform official design reviews for sponsors.

Example projects: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper Strategies

Our innovative Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper (LQC) projects focus on low-cost, low-risk strategies to remake public spaces. The changes could include new amenities, such as portable landscaping and public art, new configurations of the street using paint and bollards, and programming for events and activities. Using our community visioning process and large database of existing projects, we can generate LQC ideas from the public and stakeholders, develop a conceptual plan, and help you implement the changes. We also have several designers on staff who can work with your team to develop custom-built amenities tailored to your site for these LQC activations.

Example projects: Detroit LQC


We would like to learn more about your community & how we can help.

Contact Us

projects@pps.org
212.620.5660

Elena Madison

Vice President

Meg Walker

Vice President

Alessandra Galletti

Vice President