Transforming Cities Through Placemaking & Public Spaces

UN-HABITAT and Project for Public Spaces (PPS) signed a 5-year cooperative agreement in 2011 to aspire to raise international awareness of the importance of public space in cities, to foster a lively exchange of ideas among partners and to educate a new generation of planners, designers, community activists and other civic leaders about the benefits of what they call the "Placemaking methodology."

Building inclusive, healthy, functional, and productive cities is perhaps the greatest challenge facing humanity today, but when done right, they can jumpstart economic development, help build a sense of community, civic identity and culture, facilitate social capital and community revitalization.  Investing into the quality of a public space delivers a significant return to a city that has the foresight to see its value.

Because urbanization is the definitive reality of the 21st century and because it is occurring most rapidly in places with the greatest lack of urban planning, UN-HABITAT and PPS came up with the Place-making method in order to create places where the community feels ownership and engagement, and where design serves function, meeting basic human needs.  The process will identify and catalyze local leadership, funding and other resources, drawing on the assets and skills of a community rather than on relying solely on professional experts, so to speak.

The Duo released 10 informative steps that cities and communities can take to improve the quality of their public spaces.

1. Improve Streets as Public Spaces
2. Create Squares and Parks as Multi-Use Destinations
3. Build Local Economies Through Markets
4. Design Buildings to Support Places
5. Link a Public Health Agenda to a Public Space Agenda
6. Reinvent Community Planning
7. The Principle of the Power of 10
8. Create a Comprehensive Public Space Agenda
9. Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper: Start Small, Experiment
10. Restructure Government to Support Public Spaces

Read More and Explanations for the 10 Steps HERE