Project for Public Spaces is excited to announce the appointment of a new Executive Leadership Team. Reporting directly to the board, this new team will be responsible for leading the organization into a new stage of achieving its mission to strengthen communities through public space.
This change in leadership comes after Phil Myrick decided to step down as CEO of Project for Public Spaces to continue his work as an independent placemaking and planning consultant. “I’ve been honored to be able to build a senior team at Project for Public Spaces that will continue moving things forward from here without missing a beat,” said Myrick. “I look forward to continuing many ongoing friendships and developing future partnerships with the team at Project for Public Spaces, however my heart lies in working directly with communities and clients to bring their public spaces to life.”
As the successor to the organization’s founders, Myrick helped give Project for Public Spaces stability and confidence during a time of transition in its history. During his tenure as CEO, Myrick oversaw the growth of many new partnerships that provided technical assistance and funding to facilitate local placemaking projects, as well as the launch of our research partnership with the Brookings Institution on the Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking.
In just over two years, the organization hosted five conferences, including two Placemaking Weeks in Chattanooga, TN, and Wuhan, China; the 10th International Public Markets Conference in London, UK; and two Walk/Bike/Places conferences, one in New Orleans, LA, and the other our first virtual conference in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Our educational work also continued to grow with new publications and the continuation of our popular training programs on placemaking, public markets, and transportation. We thank Phil for his leadership and warm presence over the past two years.
The Executive Leadership Team comprises the heads of five departments at Project for Public Spaces that collectively represent every area of the organization. The team members come with a variety of professional backgrounds, some with a deep history working at Project for Public Spaces and some with a fresh perspective on our mission. Below, the Executive Leadership Team shares what is on their mind at the beginning of this new chapter.
“Within our public spaces lies a tremendous untapped opportunity to solve urgent social problems. Our team at Project for Public Spaces is here to unlock that potential, and communities will continue to be at the heart of all of our public space transformations. I see my role as challenging the status quo in urban planning through our programs, and leading a team with empathy and humility at the center.”
“I've long believed that collaborative leadership structures are the best means to create organizations that are inclusive and fair to all staff and stakeholders. Working with my colleagues on the Executive Leadership Team has been a pleasure—they are all incredibly smart, creative, and dedicated professionals. I am excited to be a part of Project for Public Spaces’ next step.”
"Partnerships are essential to placemaking and have always been core to Project for Public Spaces. I’m excited to continue this legacy of collaboration as a member of the Executive Leadership Team, and I look forward to supporting a bold vision for the organization that builds on the passion and expertise of our team."
“The most inspiring part of my work with Project for Public Spaces has always been the amazing community of placemaking practitioners that comes to our events and engages with us online. I look forward to continuing to support this audience, as well as broadening the conversation by sharing new ideas and elevating voices that we haven’t before.”
"I started working at Project for Public Spaces as an associate in 2006, and I am proud to have worked my way up to now serve on this Executive Leadership Team. While I have worn many hats in my time here, I love that a big part of my current position is nurturing the talent of our awesome staff. Now more than ever, all of our work must be laser-focused on our mission, reflect the the needs of the community, and address longstanding injustices in public space."
Some of the Executive Leadership Team's top priorities include growing the breadth and depth of our impact in communities, continuing to learn how to better practice anti-racism in our work, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the organization.
We look forward to sharing more of this vision with you all in the coming weeks!