It takes a place to create a community and a community to create a place

Our Approach

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Our pioneering Placemaking approach helps citizens transform their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs.

Our History

PPS was founded in 1975 to expand on the work of William (Holly) Whyte, author of The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. We have since completed projects in more than 3000 communities in 43 countries and all 50 U.S. states and are the premier center for best practices, information and resources on placemaking. More than 900 people worldwide are members of our Placemaking Leadership Council.

Meet Our Team

Project for Public Spaces is made up of a highly experienced and cross-disciplinary staff trained in environmental design, architecture, urban planning, urban geography, environmental psychology, landscape architecture, arts administration, and information management.

Our extended team: Board of Directors

Fred Kent

Founder and President

Kathy Madden

Co-Founder and Director of Education and Training

Steve Davies

Co-Founder and Executive Vice President

Gary Toth

Senior Director, Transportation Initiatives

Cynthia Nikitin

Senior Vice President

Ethan Kent

Senior Vice President

Eleina Olonetsky

Vice President, CFO

Meg Walker

Senior Vice President

Elena Madison

Vice President

Mark Plotz

Vice President and Director National Center for Bicycling and Walking

Kelly Verel

Vice President

Josh Kent

Vice President

Annah Mackenzie

Vice President, Director of Communications

Philip Winn

Vice President

Laura Torchio, AICP

Deputy Director, Transportation Initiatives

Priti Patel

Senior Design Associate

David Leyzerovsky

Senior Project Associate

Kurt Wheeler

Project Associate

Anna Siprikova

Senior Project Associate

Nathan Storring

Communications Associate

Juliet Kahne

Communications and Education Associate

Elka Gotfryd

Project Associate

Nicolas Shearman

Administrative Associate

Marcos Martinez

Office Administrator

Norman Mintz

Senior Director, Main Streets and Downtowns

David O'Neil

Senior Director, Public Markets

Daniel Latorre

Senior Fellow, Digital Placemaking

Jay Walljasper

Senior Fellow

Jane Ellery

Senior Fellow

Rony Jalkh

Senior Fellow

Our Programs

Our partner to advance Placemaking in the global south.

A forum on the future of our cities. A collaboration between UN Habitat, Ax:son Johnson Foundation and us.

A program for rural communities to convert their own good ideas into reality.

Our partner in supporting and activating public spaces in the heart of American cities through the Heart of the Community program.

A program to advocate for bicycle-friendly and walkable communities.

A clearinghouse for Context Senstive Solutions resources funded by FHWA.


Zealous about the future of public space? Learn about our current openings & internships.    Available Roles