By developing a comprehensive campaign and messaging strategy to address the lack of access to quality public space that persists in cities across the globe, PPS will forge action-oriented partnerships with three national and international organizations to institutionalize and expand placemaking within their fields of practice and the local communities they serve. Over the next three years, PPS will work with each of these organizations to undertake pilot/demonstration projects in one to three public spaces each.
Campaigns will include low-cost, short-term improvements to attract more people to a public space (Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper), which will set the stage for longer-term infrastructure improvements, with subsequent interventions occurring incrementally. Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper design projects typically include adding low-cost amenities to a space, converting street areas into multi-use spaces, or incorporating public art, markets and vending, and/or visual upgrades including landscaping into existing public spaces. To complement this work there will be a comprehensive program of events and activities ranging from outdoor festivals and film screenings to cultural programs and exhibitions featuring local talent.
To achieve these targets, PPS will create a leadership team with each partner organization and a project implementation team with local community leaders and municipal government staff in order to plan and initiate the actual demonstration projects. For each project, PPS will provide an introductory training seminar for a diverse group of public and private stakeholders, as well as ongoing technical assistance for each project, drawing on PPSs approach to transforming public spaces, which includes public space audit tools. PPS will also provide new sources of funding to implement these projects to be raised from foundation, government, and private sources. By building the capacity of these local communities and partners to maintain these projects in the future and complete additional projects, and expanding the funding base for placemaking, PPS will build a solid foundation that will enable us to increase the number of projects in the future.
We will launch the project on October 30, 2016. During the first nine months of the project, and no later than June 2017, we will establish formal partnership agreements and release a public announcement. Partners will provide organizational support for projects and will assist in financing and implementation, if funds are not provided directly. During this period, we will also commence local project planning and trainings on a rolling basis with each partner, as funding and commitments are secured. Initial pilot projects will be completed with each partner by December 31, 2017. In 2018, we will provide training and technical assistance to increase each partners capacity to implement placemaking strategies, and we will actively participate in one of their conferences, networks, and communication outlets (completing at least three blogs or article), while also completing additional pilot projects. In 2019, we will formally evaluate the results of these programs. Evaluation will include before/after systematic observations and surveys of public space users, to be completed by local pilot project staff using PPSs methodologies. This work will culminate in a final report, to be submitted by October 30, 2019.
A proposed timeline is provided below:
October, 2016: Launch date outreach to partners begins
December, 2016: Partner status report outreach to partners continues; initial training session for each partner on a rolling basis
March, 2016: Partner status report outreach to partners continues; initial training session for each partner on a rolling basis
June, 2017: Final partnerships announced (latest date) and partner status report outreach to partners continues, initial training session for each partner on rolling basis; technical assistance; initial Pilot Projects completed
September, 2017: Pilot Project status report technical assistance; initial Pilot Projects completed
December, 2017: Pilot Project status report technical assistance; all Pilot Projects completed
March, 2018: Partner status report, articles and blog posts additional partner capacity building: one training, one conference, and three articles or blogs (per partner)
June, 2018: Partner status report, articles and blog posts additional partner capacity building: one training, one conference, and three articles or blogs (per partner)
September, 2018: Partner status report, articles and blog posts additional partner capacity building: one training, one conference, and three articles or blogs (per partner)
December, 2018: Partner status report, articles and blog posts additional partner capacity building: one training, one conference, and three articles or blogs (per partner)
March, 2019: Interim evaluation reports evaluation
June, 2019: Interim evaluation reports evaluation
October, 2019: Final report project completion
Building inclusive, healthy, functional, and productive cities is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today, and there are no easy solutions. A key part of the puzzle, though, lies right at the heart of the worlds urban areas: its public spaces.
Lack of access to quality public space is a problem of increasing urgency, given that 66% of the worlds population will be urban by the year 2050, up from 54% today (UN DESA, 2014). This rapid urbanization is contributing to dangerously low proportions of public space within cities. As the UN reports, even the planned areas of new cities have sizably reduced allocations of land for public space, with an average of 15% of land allocated to streets. In unplanned areas the situation is considerably worse, with an average of only 2%. (UN-Habitat, 2013). Compare this to the UNs target that by 2030, 45% of urban land should be allocated to streets and public space. (UN-Habitat, 2015).
Healthy public spaces can be a springboard for revitalizing communities of all kinds. Around the world, more and more industries and organizations are recognizing that attractive, active, well-functioning public spaces can jumpstart economic development, whether in a small rural town or a large urban metropolis.
As a determining factor for the success of any city, quality public spaces reflect the unique civic and cultural identity of a place, which helps to foster a sense of community amongst those who use them most. But despite its important role in fueling economic development, propelling community revitalization efforts, and building social capital, public space as a cause itself has fallen between the cracks of many siloed professional disciplines and broad-based social movements.
As both an overarching idea and a hands-on approach for improving a neighborhood, city, or region, Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value. More than just promoting better urban design, Placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution. It can also be a means to advance a number of other causes such as climate change, social equity, community resilience, and environmental sustainability. By focusing on specific places in cities and towns, Placemaking builds human relationships, creates more sustainable patterns of urban development, and gives people in communities a leadership role in shaping their own future.
We are seeking members of the CGI community, especially those who work outside the U.S., to become initial core partners under this commitment. We are also seeking partners with interest in replicating the program within their organizations and constituencies, or who can provide financial support for the planning and implementation of Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper pilot projects in partnership with other funders.
PPS has completed projects in more than 3000 communities in 43 countries and all 50 U.S. states and is the premier center for best practices, information and resources on placemaking. More than 1,500 people worldwide are members of our Placemaking Leadership Council. We can offer partners expertise in best practices, access to technical assistance services, training, and communications support through blogs, newsletters, various social media channels, and the PPS website, which attracts more one million visits a year.