Public Spaces

Blog post
March 21, 2008, 5pm PDT
We all know there's a lot of planning going on around the world. Much of it is poor, short-sighted and generally just no good. But there are also some really great ideas being developed and adopted, and they should be considered by cities and communities all over the world as instructive examples of good planning. Here are what I think are some of the best ideas in urban planning from the last week.
Nate Berg
March 20, 2008, 5am PDT
<p>This piece from <em>The Chronicle of Higher Education</em> looks at the role design plays in encouraging interaction amongst academics and calls out for better planning.</p>
The Chronicle of Higher Education
March 17, 2008, 1pm PDT
<p>Officials in Miami-Dade County have just released their parks master plan, an ambitious proposal that looks to go beyond creating park space by redefining the region's public realm.</p>
The Miami Herald
March 14, 2008, 5am PDT
<p>This article from the <em>Brooklyn Daily Eagle</em> looks at the increasing public demand for Complete Streets in Brooklyn.</p>
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
March 7, 2008, 8am PST
<p>With a focus on public spaces, Flint, Michigan, is looking to revitalize itself.</p>
Making Places
March 6, 2008, 6am PST
<p>The Project for Public Spaces offers this checklist to help determine if your city is a "great" city.</p>
Making Places
Blog post
January 18, 2008, 5pm PST

The other day, half a million plastic balls bounced down the Spanish Steps, one of Rome's most visited and historic public places. Many visitors, picture-takers and members of the media were caused to wonder 'what's up with all these balls?'

Nate Berg
Blog post
May 28, 2007, 4pm PDT

Houston or Holland? The rapidly growing suburbs of Madrid uncomfortably (and instructively) amalgamate some of both. I was lucky to receive a recent tour from David Cohn, a long-time colleague and 20-year resident of Madrid; Sylvia Perea, a post-doctoral student and, until recently, an editor at the journal Arquitectura Viva, and Emilio Ontiveros, a young architect of the local Research Group on Social Housing.

James S. Russell
Blog post
May 22, 2007, 12pm PDT

“We underwrite fun,” says Naomi McCleary, Manager of arts for the Waitakere City Council, one of the municipalities that make up the Auckland (New Zealand) metropolitan region. She is referring to the practice of involving artists in the thinking and creation of public places, buildings, streets, bridges; they take an equal seat at the table from conception to completion. According to Ms. McCleary, the results are remarkable. Fun is a partner of beauty and happiness, it is a means toward the creation of objects and places that are beautifully usable. Around the world it is possible to find municipalities that are underwriting this kind of fun, but for every found opportunity, we have several more that are lost.

Barbara Knecht
Blog post
April 13, 2007, 9pm PDT

(Prefatory musing: As the title implies, this is Part 1 in a series. I haven't yet mapped out any of the other parts, but considering the boundless errata that clutter American cities, I anticipate little trouble finding objectionables to raise my ire next time my monthly deadline approaches. I welcome my fellow Interchangers to follow suit.)

Josh Stephens
Blog post
February 27, 2007, 2pm PST

At Project for Public Spaces, Inc. we think successful public spaces are the key to the future of cities. By “successful spaces” we mean spaces that are used, but what we find more often than not, in the centers of cities, are some very bad spaces – meaning that they are pretty much devoid of opportunities to do anything – even though they look good. We have also found that the least successful spaces and buildings are often the newest ones.

  •