COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space

Placemaking Services

Project for Public Spaces offers technical assistance to clients in the public, civic and private sectors that seek to support the wellbeing of communities through public space. Through our placemaking approach, we help you through every step of the process, from developing a community-driven vision to opening day and beyond.

Where We Work

Parks & Plazas

We work with public agencies and community partners to create, improve, and sustain multi-use parks and plazas.

Districts

We develop district-wide placemaking initiatives, as well as effective and equitable management strategies in collaboration with district management organizations and planning departments.

Public Markets

We support market operators and regional networks in becoming financially sustainable and expanding their community benefit.

Mixed-Use Development

We develop public realm plans for new large-scale developments, from a city block to an entire neighborhood.

Education, Culture & Art

We help institutions strengthen their relationships with students, visitors, and neighboring communities alike.

Mobility & Transit

We train and provide technical assistance to departments of transportation that see streets and transportation infrastructure as their community’s largest public space asset.

Partner With US

Contact Us

Does your community have a public space challenge?
We can help.

erosado@pps.org or 212.620.5660

Our Approach

Our unique placemaking approach helps community members make and remake well-loved, well-used public spaces that reflect local culture, assets, and priorities.

1. Training & Capacity Building

One of our core values at Project for Public Spaces is local leadership. We believe that outside experts should first and foremost serve as facilitators and educators, helping the people that know a place best acquire the tools they need to improve it and care for it themselves. Whenever we facilitate a placemaking process, we treat the development of place and people as our double bottom line.

We also offer standalone training both in person and virtually. These customized courses usually include presentations by Project for Public Spaces staff on key placemaking principles and tools, interactive exercises, and topic-specific modules, from tools for community engagement to the ins and outs of setting up a place management organization.

2. Community Engagement & Visioning

Constructive community participation is at the heart of our approach. Placemaking is defined by the way it thoughtfully involves community members at each step in the process of translating their shared vision for a public space into reality. We work with our clients to design a meaningful process for their unique context, including a tailored visioning workshop that brings together a diversity of local stakeholders. We also intentionally engage underrepresented groups in the process by meeting people where they are with a range of fun, easy, and convenient strategies. These include observation exercises in public space, pop-up activities at community events, surveys, interviews, and focus groups, among others.

While we believe the engagement process should never end, we summarize our findings in a vision report that includes a summary of issues identified by stakeholders, a public space program, precedent research, and short-term and long-term priorities for action, which can be used by the client to ensure that the vision is reflected in all future designs, programming, and management.

3. Design & Implementation

Our interdisciplinary team of certified designers, planners, and social scientists specializes in making your community vision into a reality through our unique mixture of experimentation and observation, ongoing community engagement, and technical expertise.

As we implement your short-term and long-term priorities, we collaborate with local landscape architects, architects, designers, artists, makers, and others to infuse every detail with the talent and creativity that exists in every community. Informed by working directly with hundreds of communities around North America, our pragmatic approach to implementation uses low-cost, low risk tactical urbanism experiments to find design elements and amenities that work for both the users and managers of public space.

We hold particular expertise in the design of public markets, which often require close attention to logistics, food safety, and event planning, and streets, which require balancing public space activities with multimodal mobility.

4. Program & Management Plans

The ongoing management, programming, and care of public spaces is one of the most underestimated factors in the success of well-used and well-loved public spaces. As we progress through the process of community visioning, design, and implementation, we make sure public spaces thrive long after our work is done by developing effective management plans and building the capacity of local partners to carry them out.

Our program plans include a menu of activities, amenities, and events that can take place in a public space during every time of day, every day of the week, and every season. Our management plans include community-driven models of governance and equitable approaches to public safety, procurement, and partnerships with social service organizations. We offer particular expertise in management plans for public markets, including feasibility assessments, tenant mix and leasing, and multi-year operating proformas and financing plans.

COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space