Together, we can create a world of community-powered public spaces.
Public spaces are the foundation of our society’s health, resilience, and sense of community. Yet all too often, public spaces don’t live up to their full potential because the people whose lives they impact most are left out of the process of creating, improving, and maintaining them.
With the support of like-minded partners, Project for Public Spaces manages grant and technical assistance programs that help local partners to transform their public spaces. We ensure a lasting impact by investing in the people behind the places through training, peer learning opportunities, and more.
Since 1975, Project for Public Spaces has brought some of the most successful public places in the world to life with the help of dedicated partners.
More than 50 organizations have partnered with Project for Public Spaces to give back to their communities, to engage their employees and grantees, and to create the welcoming, lively, and meaningful public spaces that everyone deserves. We would love to introduce you to some of our recent partners.
From 2014 to 2019, Project for Public Spaces partnered with Southwest Airlines to develop the Heart of the Community grant program. This initiative offered financial, technical assistance, and peer learning opportunities to 19 local partners around North America who sought to bring new life to their public spaces and to strengthen their communities for a more resilient future.
Once a lifeless traffic island, Campus Martius Park has become a world-famous example of a unique urban park. Through the Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grant program, Project for Public Spaces collaborated with the Downtown Detroit Partnership, the City of Detroit, and the Detroit 300 Conservancy to help bring a taste of northern Michigan beaches to the middle of downtown Detroit.
In 2013, a team of MIT researchers from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning led by planner and architect Susan Silberberg examined ten case studies of placemaking projects around the country, including several Heart of the Community projects. Their findings report, Places in the Making, reveal how the collective process of making cultivates community capacity and leadership that lasts far beyond any one public space improvement.
“Placemaking puts power back in the hands of the people,” writes Silberberg observes in the report's introduction. “The most successful placemaking initiatives transcend the ‘place’ to forefront the ‘making,’ and the benefits for community can be substantial and long-lasting.”