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Placemaking Blog 2013-01-13 20:00:17
The first meeting of the Placemaking Leadership Council will take place in downtown Detroit, Michigan, home of the wonderful Campus Martius Park / Photo: PPS For those of us who are passionate about the public spaces in our communities, this is an extraordinary time. The general awareness of the importance of a strong sense of place?to the economy, to our social fabric, …


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Placemaking Blog 2013-01-10 21:23:02
Partnership of federal agencies and national organizations offers workshop funding, technical assistance, and additional resources Washington, DC?Today, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) is issuing a request for proposals to rural communities facing design challenges to host local workshops in 2013. Successful applicants will receive a $7,000 grant and in-kind design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000. The Request for Proposals …


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Placemaking Blog 2013-01-09 16:22:00
Ian Thomas If you?re working to make it easier for children to walk and bike to school in your community, Ian Thomas is a name that you should know! Ian is currently serving as the Executive Director of the Pedestrian and Pedaling Network of Columbia, Missouri (PedNet). As he prepares to step down from this position to run for the Fourth Ward …


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Placemaking Blog 2013-01-07 18:40:49
Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) and the Placemaking movement make great bedfellows. That?s what PPS believes, and apparently over 800 practitioners and policymakers agree. Eight hundred was the number of individuals who registered for the booked-solid Streets as Places webinars presented a few weeks ago by Gary Toth, Senior Director of Transportation Initiatives, and Kate Rube, Transportation Program Manager at PPS. Streets as …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-12-30 17:00:50
2012 was a big year in general here at PPS?and the same was true for the Placemaking Blog! We’ve had a blast communicating with Placemakers around the world through our blog, as well as through Facebook and Twitter. And so, to end the year on a reflective note, we thought we’d put together a round-up of our top posts from the …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-12-21 22:10:02
Michigan has long been fertile grounds for PPS work in Placemaking, but recently the state is taking Placemaking to an unprecedented level as the center of their economic development and place-based governance strategy. Some of PPS?s signature projects have been in Michigan. The 2.5 acre, $20 Million, Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit has become a magnet for the revival of Detroit and …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-12-18 19:56:02
Downtown Madison, NJ, in full swing during the Bottle Hill Day festival / Photo: Borough of Madison PPS heartily congratulates the Borough of Madison, New Jersey, whose downtown was recently named one of the 2012 Great Places in New Jersey by the state chapter of the American Planning Association. It is an affirmation of the Borough?s unwavering dedication over the past 30 …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-12-16 08:00:28
Click to view a larger version of our 2012 Holiday Card, featuring a stunning image of Detroit’s Campus Martius (courtsey of the Downtown Detroit Partnership) Dear Placemakers; Almost four decades ago, we created the Project for Public Spaces to expand the work of the great urbanologist and observer of public spaces, Holly Whyte. The way that public spaces were being conceived and designed …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-12-13 15:12:18
Click to purchase from Powell’s Jeff Speck?s new book, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, is worth a read for its acerbic wit, alone. The author fits a remarkable collection of data and anecdotal evidence from his long career in urban design (which included a four-year stint at the helm of the National Endowment for the …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-12-07 20:17:21
Last week I finally returned to my Brooklyn home, some 5 weeks after being displaced by Hurricane Sandy. I live a block away from the Gowanus Canal, a dedicated ?Superfund? site slated for clean-up following years of industrial pollution and, as it turned out, a waterway ill-equipped for storm surges and 21st century superstorms. Following Mayor Bloomberg?s warnings I packed a …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-12-05 16:35:46
Andrew Howard Andrew Howard is one of the founding members of Team Better Block, a group that works to implement Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper strategies for the temporary revitalization of streets and public spaces in the short-term, to inspire people to think differently about how those places could evolve. Team Better Block recently took recommendations straight from PPS’s report on how to improve …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-12-04 15:55:34
Detroiters crowd the Placemaking Hut to vote for their favorite ideas for improving downtown spaces / Photo: PPS What do you want to see happening in your favorite public spaces? This is one of the questions at the core of the Placemaking process, and getting responses from as many different people as possible has always been central to what we do at …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-12-03 19:56:54
Sarah Ordover speaks at the opening of the NewBo City Market; to her right sit Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett / Photo: Sarah Ordover In our Citizen Placemaker series, we chat with amazing and inspiring people from outside the architecture, planning, and government worlds (the more traditional haunts of Placemakers) whose work exemplifies how creating great …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-11-28 20:30:43
Volunteers use bikes to transport donated goods to hard-hit areas like Red Hook and the Rockaways after Superstorm Sandy / Photo: Brennan Cavanaugh via Flickr On Thursday following Superstorm Sandy, when much of New York City was still without power, the number of bike riders on the East River bridges rose more than 130 percent. The substantial increase in ridership, according to …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-11-25 17:08:46
All slideshow images appear courtesy of David K. O’Neil. The sun has barely risen, but the horses and delivery wagons forming a steady stream from Dey to Canal Streets since nightfall have to share the road again. Rats scurry back into the maze of wooden sheds with their vegetable scraps as an early-to-rise New Yorker walks briskly down Washington Street, market bag …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-11-23 16:15:21
Walking and wandering are two very different things. Walking is functional; it is merely the act of getting from A to B on our own two legs. But when we wander, it is the journey–not the destination–that matters. Somewhere between these two, there has to be a happy medium. In many of today’s sprawling cities, traveling on foot can be difficult, …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-11-21 19:15:55
Here at PPS, William Holly Whyte?s legacy continues to inform and inspire our work, from projects with communities to our training sessions and talks. Perhaps less known, though, is his behind-the-scenes influence on our research and methodology. Swapping Holly’s Bolex camera for an iPhone timelapse app, and trilbies for bike helmets, I joined forces with Ethan Kent, Alan Grabinsky, & Elena Madison …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-11-16 17:57:33
Thanks to Clarence at Streetfilms for the heads up on this: the impassioned presentation by transportation reform leader Mark Gorton during this fall’s Pro Walk/Pro Bike: Pro Place conference in Long Beach is now available in full online. If you weren’t able to make it to the conference (or if you want to relive the barnstorming closer), you can listen to …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-11-14 17:35:37
Children play on the central library’s “front porch” during LibroFEST / Photo: Houston Public Library Library culture in the city of Houston is undergoing an exciting shift as the Houston Public Library reconsiders its public role. Instead of thinking of its programming as needing to remain within the building?s four walls, recent efforts are pulling the activity into outdoor spaces. Building upon …


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Placemaking Blog 2012-11-11 08:45:50
How do you create a magnetic public destination like Luxembourg Gardens? Read on! / Photo: PPS In a recent blog post, entrepreneur-turned-VC Mark Suster wrote about the necessary ingredients for a city trying o develop a successful start-up community. His advice seemed applicable to any community that’s trying to create a strong local sense of place, so we’ve retrofitted his recommendations to …


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