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How to Turn a Place Around

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How to Turn a Place Around should be on the bookshelf of every urban designer and landscape architect – if not for themselves, then for their clients.”

—Landscape Architecture

How to Turn a Place Around is a user-friendly, common sense guide for everyone from community residents to mayors on how to create successful places. The ideas presented in this book reflect Project for Public Spaces’ thirty years of experience in helping people understand and improve their public spaces. The book illustrates a community-based, “place oriented” process organized around the eleven basic principles for creating successful public spaces, as well as methods that anyone can use to evaluate a space.

People who read this handbook will learn how short-term actions and visible changes can lead to better public spaces in their own communities. Through examples of people’s experiences in other cities, PPS demonstrates that, with an understanding of how a place works, any place can be “turned around.”

In the workbook included as an appendix, tools such as observations and surveys are described in a simple, how-to manner that will help citizens get all the information they need to understand why some spaces are successful and why some are not. It also provides steps to help you lead a community-based visioning process and begin to improve your neighborhood.

Expanded Second Edition: When it was first released in 2000, this user-friendly guidebook helped launch the placemaking movement. It brought together PPS’s thirty years of community-driven observation and experimentation and turned it into a series of principles and practical tools for anyone to remake their public spaces. Along with a brand new design and vibrant color photos, this second edition adds new tools, like the Power of 10 exercise and Place Performance Game; inspiring new case studies; and a whole new section on how to run a successful placemaking process, from community engagement to creating a vision to implementation.

“PPS’ new places recipe book includes diagrams and tools to evaluate and suggest potential changes for any public space, from a neighborhood playground to a major tourist attraction.  Any town, without calling in outside consultants, can use PPS’s new book to develop similarly inventive strategies.”

— Neal PeirceWashington Post
“The people involved in the design and development within cities are thinking about all other facets of design, except for what makes a great place.”

— Joseph P. Riley, Mayor of Charlestown, SC
“For years, PPS has been helping neighborhoods understand what their assets are, and how to use them to rebuild and restore their public spaces. This book is indispensable for anyone understands that with common sense and a lot of energy, any place can be turned around.”

— Dana Crawford, President, Urban Neighborhoods, Inc., developer and preservationist
“Citizens are demanding that state Departments of Transportation do a better job of listening, and that we pay more attention to aesthetic and historic values. This book should be used as a primer for transportation officials to understand all the different elements that go into making a town or city livable.”

— John C. Horsley, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

Brand-New Design
New Diagrams and Color Photos
New Tools

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