Project for Public Spaces (PPS)
PPS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and sustaining public places that build communities. Known around the world for our work on the design and management of public spaces, PPS was founded as a non-profit in 1975 to build upon the pioneering Street Life Project of writer-sociologist William H. Whyte. Since then we have developed a unique process for transforming public spaces called "Placemaking." Not only has PPS worked in 2000 communities in 47 states and 26 countries to improve parks, markets, streets, transit stations, libraries and countless other places, we have also deeply influenced the way cities and towns approach public space. Their April 2007 newsletter focuses on libraries, civic institutions, and the creation of civic centers.
Civic centers are the home of our institutions of democracy and culture--libraries as well as museums, performing arts centers, courthouses, city halls and other key public buildings. View the April 2007 newsletter at www.pps.org/info/newsletter/april2007/.
You can also check out Cynthia Nikitin's great article Stumbling Blocks to Creating Great Civic Centers...and How to Overcome Them, which talks about how a "fully-realized civic center proclaims the mission and identity of its institutions for all to see, so that the commons becomes a forum for public expression and a source of community pride" and outlines how the layout, name, programming, and connection to local events/institutions impacts the success of civic centers. Nikitin is PPS's Vice President for Civic Centers and Downtowns.
And Making Places, the official newsletter of PPS, is your lifeline to the world of Placemaking. A free subscription gives you insight into public spaces from our unique, interdisciplinary vantage point, and highlights ways you can help make better places in your community.