Nationwide (2005-2007)

Client: U.S. General Services Administration, Public Buildings Service, Center for Urban Development

Click here to order a FREE copy of Achieving Great Federal Public Spaces. Or download the four sections for free below.

Achieving Great Federal Public Spaces is an invaluable book for property managers, developers, and anyone else who wants to evaluate and improve their lobbies, atriums, plazas, courtyards, and other public spaces.

Written and designed by PPS and the General Services Administration–the real estate arm of the federal government–the book is both a hands-on resource with on-site exercises and a handy reference tool full of ideas and inspiration. It comprises four major sections, available for download as free PDFs:

  1. Introduction – (click here to download)
    Why great places matter and what makes a good public space.
  2. Evaluation – (click here to download)
    How to determine which aspects of a building’s public space need improvement, and which are performing well.
  3. Solutions – (click here to download)
    What improvements work in the short-, medium-, and long-term.
  4. Implementation – (click here to download)
    How to successfully put ideas into practice.

The centerpiece of the book is the “Place Audit,” a detailed on-site evaluation exercise that property managers can complete on their own or with a group of stakeholders. The Audit reveals the strengths and weaknesses of a property’s public spaces. Equipped with this knowledge, property managers can proceed with confidence to implement the book’s recommendations for improvement.

Since its publication in July 2007, Achieving Great Federal Public Spaces has been distributed to 1600 managers of federal properties across the United States. The Place Audit is being incorporated into GSA’s annual evaluations, and it will serve as the basis for training federal property managers in Placemaking.

We believe any property manager will find it useful and informative. It is now available on the PPS website as a PDF (see links above) or through our online store at no charge (shipping fees apply).

Achieving Great Federal Public Spaces represents a renewed commitment to the role our public spaces play in providing world-class workplaces and creating lasting symbols of government in their communities.”

David L. Winstead

Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service
U.S. General Services Administration


PPS worked in partnership with GSA’s Good Neighbor Program and the staff of the First Impressions Program to complete Achieving Great Federal Public Spaces. It is the product of a longstanding collaboration between PPS and GSA.

With a federal mandate to give first consideration to locating in central business areas and historic buildings, GSA is charged with concentrating most of its new development in downtowns, and encouraging tenant agencies to embrace center city locations. The Good Neighbor Program approached PPS in 1999 to help create safe, attractive, and people-friendly public spaces around government properties, making better places to work and live in the downtowns where GSA does business, that benefit tenants, clients and visitors and the public at large.

“PPS has been so valuable to us because they are placemaking advocates as well as experts. They ask us “Why not?” at the same time they are able to show us “Here’s how.” While working on our new public space guide for federal properties, they helped us to shape a passionate case for what our public spaces should aspire to and they were able to call upon their deep well of experiences, tools, and case studies to demonstrate how our property managers could evaluate and improve their public spaces on their own.”

Frank Giblin

GSA, Good Neighbor Program

Free copies of Achieving Great Federal Public Spaces: A Property Manager’s Guide are available as supply permits. Standard shipping charges apply. To order your copy, please visit our secure online form, or call (212) 620 5660. We accept MasterCard, Visa, checks and money orders.

Achieving Great Federal Public Spaces: A Property Manager’s Guide was last modified: March 6th, 2012 by Project for Public Spaces