Public Space, Interrupted
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..."