In 2010, Project for Public Spaces collaborated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and its National Main Street Center to integrate Placemaking as a core principle and value of the historic preservation movement. This program was funded by the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Foundation, recognizing the foundation’s long term support for both organizations.
PPS worked closely with Trust staff to develop two training programs: one for Main Street state coordinators, held during the National Main Street conference in Oklahoma City, and one for a general audience of preservation leaders, at the Trust’s national conference in Austin, Texas. In addition, PPS worked with national and Mississippi Main Street staff to develop a pilot Placemaking project in Tupelo, Mississippi, a community selected after a national solicitation process. During this pilot project, additional training programs were conducted for state and local leaders, and a community Placemaking workshop was held to identify opportunities for downtown Tupelo, with special focus on a major arterial road that is the gateway to downtown.
The training programs sparked new interest about how to integrate Placemaking, historic preservation, and Main Street revitalization. Today, the National Trust's “motto” is “Saving Places” -- building on its ongoing program, “Places that Matter." Following the Tupelo Pilot, Tupelo Main Street created place-based committees for two sites, and East Tupelo successfully tested a road diet on its Main Street, shrinking the road from 5 lanes to 3. This $3 million street redesign – creating a much more bicycle and pedestrian friendly arterial road leading into downtown – will start construction in 2013. “The final project will be much better than I think we even anticipated,” reported Debbie Brangenberg, the executive director of the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association. “I think it’s going to make a huge difference in this corridor and open up great possibilities for growth.”