What Makes Outdoor Spaces Successful?

Governing profiles Fred Kent, president of the Project for Public Spaces.

Fred Kent and his "compatriots at PPS — especially his partner, Kathy Madden, and his longtime colleague, Steve Davies — have a track record of making some of the most appealing urban spots in the nation. They did the redesign of Manhattan’s hugely popular Bryant Park, which sits next to the New York Public Library and which, before they got hold of it, had become a no-man’s-land of drug dealers and muggers. They helped make the area around Rockefeller Center’s skating rink the people-watching Mecca it has become.

...Over the years, Kent and Madden have amassed a large, diverse collection of the little details that add up to public spaces people are drawn to or repelled by. They have spent years in minute study of how people use space — time-lapse films of parking spaces and traffic patterns; sketches of how people gather and move around a park; measurements of benches and stairs and why people choose to use some and pass others by; close observation of waste receptacles and public rest rooms and storefronts."

Thanks to Chris Steins

Full Story: Pride of Place

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