“‘Placemaking’ is both an overarching idea and a hands-on tool for improving a neighborhood, city or region. It has the potential to be one of the most transformative ideas of this century” – Metropolitan Planning Council, Chicago, IL

Placemaking is a sacred community based process that PPS has used in over 3,000 communities throughout the world. It is a process that empowers people to create sustainable, livable communities themselves.

When PPS first started working with communities on their public spaces, it quickly became apparent that no one knows more about a place and how it functions than the people who live and work there. However, we also found that people are rarely asked about the issues they have direct experience with; instead, the public isasked to provide feedback on proposed designs after the fact. This is the main reason that PPS decided to develop a different process – one that is bottom up versus top down and “place”-based versus project-based – which we call Placemaking. Over the past 35 years, we have found that the Placemaking process is more economical, more efficient, and more fun for both people in communities and local officials. It also results in visible changes and has a far greater impact on the community.

We’ve compiled the following articles that explain PPS’ definition of Placemaking and how you can apply it to your community. We call this “Placemaking 101.”

Crowds flocked to Market Square on opening day

What is Placemaking?

More than a fashionable phrase, it’s a whole new way of thinking about fostering vital communities.

he Market in Pittsburgh's Market Square draws visitors from around the region to wander its colorful stalls each Thursday

What Makes a Successful Place?

In evaluating thousands of public spaces around the world, PPS has found that successful ones have four key qualities.

After PPS' workshop, Plein 40-45 became one stop on Amsterdam's Annual 1001 Markets Tour

Eleven Principles of Placemaking

Adapted from our best-seller, How to Turn a Place Around, these 11 common-sense principles are the key to any successful Placemaking effort.

After PPS' workshop, Plein 40-45 became one stop on Amsterdam's Annual 1001 Markets Tour The Power of 10 & the Origin of the Power of 10

Why Great Places are more than the sum of their parts.


As Placemaking gains momentum, our vision is to create a new “Town Square of Placemaking”, a forum for discussion and sharing ideas and a center where individuals and organizations from all over the world can learn, exchange information, share insights and find the resources necessary to improve their communities. We’re also creating a Placemaking Alliance, a network of regional, national, and international Placemaking leaders, that would facilitate knowledge sharing between members and provide practical support, case studies, and access to the innovative Digital Placemaking tools that PPS is launching.

Placemaking 101 was last modified: March 6th, 2012 by dkitzes
Tagged with →