COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space
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Our Public Spaces Services

Since our founding in 1975, PPS has helped improve and plan thousands of public spaces around the world. Using our groundbreaking tools for community process and planning, we've shaped squaresparks, innovation districtsrural communitieswaterfrontspublic buildings, and more.


With 40 years of experience, PPS’s expertise in public space analysis is unparalleled. To begin a project, PPS can conduct an analysis of your space and its connections to the surrounding neighborhood. Using a combination of photography, interviews, and observations, we determine which areas of a space are already functioning well and which need the most work, and these observations provide focus and context for community visioning efforts.


Our pioneering community engagement approaches and exercises have been used by hundreds of community groups, government agencies, and other organizations around the world. We work with you to design a meaningful process, which could include interviews with key stakeholders, placemaking workshops, Power of 10 Exercises, pop-up placemaking tents, surveys, and digital engagement.


We firmly believe that the success of public spaces can largely be attributed to the activities, events, recreational uses and social gatherings that take place there—whether planned or spontaneous, ongoing or temporary. PPS can work with your team to develop a customized plan for regular year-round or seasonal programming for a space. We also provide suggestions for events and other special activities to take place throughout the life of a space.


Based on the community visioning process and functional program plan, PPS can prepare concepts for a public space that include details on amenities (including seating, lighting, and public art), landscape architecture, urban design, programming, links to the rest of the community, and more. This plan is typically summarized in a narrative describing possible short-term activations along with a long-term plan for the space.

Middletown Riverfront, Middletown, CT


PPS can work with your team and local architects/designers to ensure that the design of a space supports the activities that will take place there. We have several architects and landscape architects on staff to prepare detailed designs, collaborate with local project architects/designers, and perform official design reviews for sponsors.

Virginia museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA

Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper

Our innovative Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper (LQC) projects focus on low-cost, low-risk strategies to remake public spaces. The changes could include new amenities, such as portable landscaping and public art, new configurations of the street using paint and bollards, and programming for events and activities. Using our community visioning process and large database of existing projects, we can generate LQC ideas from the public and stakeholders, develop a conceptual plan, and help you implement the changes. We also have several designers on staff who can work with your team to develop custom-built amenities tailored to your site for these LQC activations.

Campus Martius, Detroit, MI

Example ProjectS & Programs
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Does your community have a public space challenge?
We can help. or 212.620.5660
Elena Madison
Meg Walker
Alessandra Galletti
COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space