PPS President Fred Kent (center) leads a tour of Midtown Manhattan's famed small urban spacesHow to Turn a Place Around is now open for registration. Click here to register.

A two-day PPS training course on April 16-17, 2009, How to Turn a Place Around introduces new ways of thinking about public spaces and how Placemaking can be used to bring communities together and revitalize underperforming spaces.

In today?s difficult times, people are staying closer to home and gathering in public spaces in search of social support and companionship. While the challenges we face could not be greater, learning how to effectively harness the opportunities of this crisis can positively affect community well-being. In order to thrive, it is essential that we develop and promote local activities, tap into local talent, and focus on community assets. By joining with unlikely partners like health, education, and environmental groups to share knowledge and skills, communities can identify opportunities for increased civic engagement and volunteerism.

Participants discuss their evaluations of Union Square Park

Drawing upon our work in cities across the globe and our research on such issues, this training course will provide tools and case study examples of successful solutions that unlock the economic potential of our public spaces in these difficult times. We will also facilitate discussion sessions that focus on the particular issues of participants.

The workshop is designed for professionals and non-professionals alike who help plan towns and cities—from landscape architects and real estate developers to park managers and community activists.  Enrollment is limited to 35 participants in order to promote a close-knit environment that fosters a deep understanding of what makes public spaces function and of PPS’s innovative methods for analyzing them.

Topics will include:

  • Introduction to Placemaking, PPS’ approach to community based planning
  • Components of a great public space
  • Tools and techniques to evaluate and design Places
  • Development of  a work plan of immediate, short-term, and long-term actions to improve a site
  • Leveraging small improvements to make larger changes
  • Making existing neighborhoods more sustainable
  • Effectively applying the concept of the “Power of 10” in cities
  • Discussion of current projects and case studies

Training Course Agenda

  • Thursday, April 16:  Introductory sessions; Tools & Technique sessions; Reception with PPS Staff
  • Friday, April 17:  Public Plaza Evaluation workshop; Application workshop; Closing session

Project for Public Spaces (PPS): Training Course Host

Project for Public Spaces, Inc. is a non-profit technical assistance, research, and educational organization.   We complement our project work, training, and services with public space advocacy that sets the stage for broad change. Our goal is to enhance Placemaking efforts everywhere by promoting good policy and professional practice.

Your instructors for this course are:

  • Fred Kent, PPS President and Founder who has led workshops across the globe on Placemaking and the revitalization of city spaces;
  • Kathy Madden, PPS Senior Vice President and environmental designer who has directed research, design and training projects worldwide;
  • and PPS senior staff, who will give specialized presentations throughout the workshop.

Training Course Cost

The registration fee covers breakfast and lunch on both days and a cocktail reception, along with educational materials.  Enrollment in training courses also includes a PPS membership!  You can view all the benefits of being a PPS member here.

Registration: $550 for non-profits and individuals, $650 for government agencies and private companies

Groups of 3 or more are eligible for a discount rate. Prices per person: $450 for non-profits and individuals, $550 for government agencies and private companies

We do offer a limited number of discounted registrations for non-profit organizations and individuals. These scholarships are based on merit. Please contact Dana Kitzes at dkitzes@pps.org for more information.


The How to Turn a Place Around Training Course is now open. Click here to register.


Please contact Dana Kitzes at dkitzes@pps.org.

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What people are saying:

\”It is no exaggeration for me to say that the Placemaking training is the best I have ever had, so good in fact, I wanted more of our community to share in it.\”

Excerpt from \”What if We Designed Bellingham Around Places?\”

– Mark Asmundson, Mayor, Bellingham WA

\”That was the best workshop / conference / training I have ever attended. Truly inspiring.\”

– John Talentino, City Planner, Hilliard OH

\”I’m inspired and ready to tackle a number of new challenges. So many things were helpful and the elements that I learned hang together in a logical way.\”

– Charlie McCabe, Executive Director, Austin Parks Foundation

\”I couldn’t stop thinking of how I would apply the principles and techniques to several projects we have underway. Overall, it was the best professional program I’ve ever been to – intellectually and creatively a shot in the arm.\”

– Mame Bradley, Commercial Districts Manager, Mt. Lebanon Municipality, PA

\”Fascinating subject matter, witty teachers, interesting guest speakers, field trips, and cool people to hang out with.\”

– Susan Hines, Editor, LAND Online, ASLA

Read her review of the course:

Part 1 Part 2

Shared Wisdom: Preaching the Gospel of Place

Profile of Fred Kent from Landscape Architecture Magazine.

Learn the techniques of Placemaking:

How to involve the community

Creating designs that work

What makes a great public space

Economic and social benefits of public spaces

Good practices… and bad

Tools, methods and techniques for analysis

Preview the best-selling book

Project for Public Spaces is registered with the American Society of Landscape Architects as a provider of Continuing Professional Education programs for Landscape Architects.

“How to Turn a Place Around” Training Course was last modified: March 6th, 2012 by Project for Public Spaces