Public Space, Interrupted

The Project for Public Spaces has compiled a "how-to" list for re-claiming your community's public spaces.

Borrowing a page from Fast Company's recent list "7 Ways to Disrupt Your Industry", which focused on various ways that firms can create opportunities for new growth and improved customer service, the nonprofit planning, design and educational organization Project for Public Spaces has released their own list titled "7 Ways to Disrupt Your Public Space", geared towards the reshaping of public areas with people, not design, in mind. "Placemaking" is the mission of this organization, which they see as an inherently disruptive approach that, "tosses out the idea that an architect or planner is more of an expert about how a place should be used than the people who are going to use it."

The simple but informative list is intended for anyone seeking to enhance the social capital or value of spaces in their communities.

One of the tips is to "Dramatically reduce complexity", which affirms the belief that "less is more", in this case in regards to decreasing programmed activities in favor of more spontaneous, natural space sharing.

Another tip on the list is "Make Stupid Places Smart", which encourages the use of Digital Placemaking which, as the organization states, is "the integration of social media into Placemaking practices, which are community-centered, encouraging public participation, collaboration, and transparency."

PPS's list offers easily adaptable and all-inclusive guidelines for creating more sociable and interactive public spaces. As tip number 7, "Make loyalty dramatically easier than disloyalty" states, "When people can meet their needs for socialization and relaxation right in their own neighborhood, they keep coming back, engendering a deeper sense of community as social ties grow stronger..."

Full Story: 7 Ways to Disrupt Your Public Space



Public Spaces -Interrupted & Safe Parks Planning & Design

Your article entitled " Public Spaces - Interrupted" touches upon the essential strategy for making parks safe. I am an urban planner and landscape architect with some 40 years of experience in a field that I developed which I refer to as 'Crime Prevention Through Urban Planning & Design". I wrote one book on the subject entitled "Design for Safe Neighborhoods" and am writing another end of career book based upon some of the projects that I have done. The key to safe park design is to design them for the 'intended users', i.e. the neighborhood residents who will use them and create territorial control over them. It is not enough to just chase the bad guys out of a park, you have to replace their negative territoriality by substituting positive territoriality. In other words design for the 'intended users'. If anyone is interested in this theory I will email a portion of the chapter in my new book on "Safe Parks Design".

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