Public Space

People sitting on lawn chairs in front of green meadow with New York City skyscrapers in background in Bryant Park, New York.

In Praise of the Endangered ‘Third Space’

The public spaces where people can spend time among strangers without buying something are crucial to healthy cities—and are quickly disappearing.

November 1, 2023 - Strong Towns

Aerial view of Halifax Waterfront with people milling around on docks among yellow umbrellas and business patios.

Placemaking on the Halifax Waterfront

How small, incremental changes can create vibrant places.

October 30, 2023 - Happy Cities

High-rise modern apartment buildings with green space in front courtyard with outdoor exercise equipment.

Architecture and the Housing Crisis

A new book brings architects into the housing discussion.

September 25, 2023 - Next City

Close-up of blue "Slow Down - Shared Street" sign on orange and white barricade in Denver, Colorado.

Denver Plans to Make Some Open Streets Permanent

The city is moving to institutionalize segments of streets that were successfully pedestrianized during the pandemic.

September 13, 2023 - The Denver Post

View down Pennsylvania Avenue with U.S. capitol in background and bike lane in middle of street

Op-Ed: How to Make Over Pennsylvania Avenue

The Washington, D.C. street briefly regained its former vibrancy during the pandemic. A proposed redesign could bring it back once again.

August 6, 2023 - The Washington Post

Empty Decatur Square plaza with fall trees in Decatur, Georgia

Decatur Approves New Food Cart Program

Mobile food vendors can now apply for permits to operate in several of the city’s public spaces.

June 5, 2023 - Eater Atlanta

Outdoor dining patios on street closed to car traffic in New York City

NYC Announces $30M for Open Streets Projects

The funding is designed to support open streets and public space projects in underresourced neighborhoods.

May 19, 2023 - StreetsBlog NYC

Washington Square Park, New York City

Reshaping Cities for Present-Day Populations

The demographic changes of the last few years give city planners and urban designers an opportunity to reimagine how public spaces can most effectively promote public health, wellbeing, and equity.

February 23, 2023 - Douglas C. Smith

New York City sidewalk with outdoor dining patio with black and white striped umbrellas and black barriers protecting diners from traffic

New York Hires ‘Public Space Czar’

The public space officer will be in charge of making the city’s sidewalks more pedestrian-friendly while keeping streets clean and accessible.

February 19, 2023 - Bloomberg CityLab

New York City Open Streets

Where Open Streets Are Succeeding

The cities that are making their pandemic-era car-free experiments permanent.

January 6, 2023 - Bloomberg CityLab

People lounging on grass in Alamo Square park in San Francisco overlooking painted ladies Victorian houses and city skyline

Predictions for San Francisco’s Public Spaces

In 2023, will the city’s public spaces be reclaimed by cars, or will pandemic-era interventions lead to permanent change?

January 5, 2023 - San Francisco Chronicle

Woman sitting at cafe table with laptop, holding coffee cup and looking out at street

Where Have All the Third Spaces Gone?

As businesses shortened their hours during the pandemic, Philadelphia residents found themselves with fewer options for places to spend their evenings.

December 19, 2022 - Philadelphia Inquirer

Rendering of Texas Mall with green lawns flanked by office towers and Capitol building at top

Austin’s Texas Mall Opens to the Public

The new plaza, part of the Capitol Complex Project, offers a glimpse of the potential of pedestrianized space in the Texas capital.

December 18, 2022 - Towers

Washington Bridge over Harlem River, New York

New York Announces New Bike Lanes and Public Space Improvements

As part of its commitment to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, the city identified several major projects for 2023 that include protected bike lanes and public plazas.

November 28, 2022 - Smart Cities Dive

Rendering of Joe Lewis Greenway at crossing withh street with green striped crosswalk

Detroit Opens Segment of Joe Lewis Greenway

The newly opened segment, which features playground equipment and public lawns, is part of a 27.5 mile greenway that will loop through four cities.

November 8, 2022 - WDET

View of Dealey Plaza with pedestrians at crosswalk and brick book depository building in background

A New Vision for Dallas’ Dealey Plaza

After decades of neglect, a team of designers reimagines the infamous plaza as a safe, vibrant, multimodal public space.

October 24, 2022 - The Dallas Morning News

Quarry House nestled among trees in Park City, Utah

Winners of the 2022 American Society of Landscape Architects

The Society’s annual awards highlight projects focused on reconnecting communities to the landscape and creating healthy community spaces.

October 4, 2022 - American Society Of Landscape Architects

People post for photos in front of a colorful mural in the evening.

Placemaking: Building on the ‘Soul’ of a Place

Placemaking is often mistaken for a form of manufacturing. Every place already has a story to tell—placemaking just brings that story forward.

October 4, 2022 - Brian Chambers

Covered outdoor dining patio on street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Opinion: Support Citizen-Led Public Space Projects

A public space advocate outlines how Philadelphia’s city leaders could support the parklets, plazas, and other public space conversions that proliferated during the pandemic.

September 26, 2022 - WHYY

View of Jackson Square, New Orleans with cathedral and street dancers in foreground

Bringing Back America’s Town Squares

Digital connection is no substitute for the vitality and community created by open, pleasant public squares and plazas.

September 13, 2022 - Governing

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.