Place Making Session: How to Turn a Place Around

“How to Turn a Place Around” introduces new ways of thinking about public spaces and how Placemaking can be used to bring communities together and revitalize underperforming spaces. Participants will explore the principles of making places through presentations, case studies of public space innovations, on- site evaluation and interactive discussions of critical issues and challenges. Discussion sessions will focus on the particular issues of participants.

Topics include: why public multi-use destinations are the best attractors of downtown activity; using public markets as generators of local economies; implementing an architecture of place strategy and; building community through transportation. Transportation issues will be explored in a special “Streets as Places” session which will focus on how to rebalance the transportation system for people versus vehicles. It will give participants insight into the parameters and thought processes of decisionmakers who plan streets, and provide tools for evaluating streets and working with designers.

Drawing on PPS’s work in cities across the globe, this training course will provide case study examples of successful solutions that unlock both the social as well as economic potential of public spaces.



Cynthia Nitkin: PPS Vice President has extensive technical expertise in Placemaking as an integrated
approach to city planning and urban design.

Gary Toth: PPS Director of Transportation Initiatives is an experienced leader with substantial expertise in transportation planning, particularly the integration of transportation with land use planning and Context Sensitive Solutions

Kate Rube: PPS Transportation Program Manager is an urban planner with expertise in smart growth, active living, and transportation issues. She has led many efforts to build coalitionsin order for local organizations and governments to advance sustainable community goals.


Specific Topics Will include:

•  Placemaking and the Power of 10 – How the Placemaking Process is different from traditional planning; how to use this process most effectively; applying the Power of Ten in different situations and scales of projects.

 Engaging the Community – How to most effectively engage the community in the planning process; what to avoid and what tools to use

 Successfully Implementing Placemaking Projects – Case studies from throughout the world ranging from small scale interventions to large scale public destinations with insights into how they were achieved and why they are successful.

• Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper – A low-cost, high impact incremental framework for improving your community in short order. It is a local development strategy that has produced some of the world’s most successful public spaces – one that is lower risk and lower cost, capitalizing on the creative energy of the community to efficiently generate new uses and revenue for places in transition.

• “Thinking Beyond the Station” – Promulgates a philosophy and approach of “Community Supportive Transit” to leverage transit facilities and station areas, to add value to communities via placemaking and capturing the value of public transportation investments for local communities

• Applying Streets as Places concepts – Characteristics of Great Streets and how they can address both transportation mobility and community goals; fundamentals of street design – principles (and jargon) behind street design; tools for effectively negotiating for Place based outcomes; and achieving better outcomes from transportation professionals.


Who: Everyone—professionals and non professionals alike who help plan towns, cities and streets—from landscape architects and real estate developers to park managers and community activists.

What: A two-day training seminar on public spaces, transportation and Placemaking

Where: Aquarium of the Pacific: Watershed Classroom, Long Beach, California

When: September 14 & 15, 2012

Why: We know from our work in more than 2,500 communities around the world that the Placemaking approach is emerging as a revolutionary development paradigm that reflects community history, needs, and aspirations. Instead of focusing development on shopping destinations like malls, strip centers and lifestyle centers, Placemaking creates authentic, multiuse destinations that have the potential to define the identity of cities and communities in the future.

How:  lunch on both days and a cocktail reception, along with educational materials.  Enrollment in training courses also includes a PPS membership!  You can view all the benefits of being a PPS member here.

With Pro Walk/Pro Bike: Pro Place conference registration: $350 (Save $250!)

Early registration (before August 30th): $550

Late registration: $600

Group registration (2 or more people): $450 per person after the first person

For more information contact


Untokening Co-founder Naomi Doerner listens to a participant during the Policy/Advocacy/Power workshop at the Untokening California convening November 4. Sahra Sulaiman/Streetsblog L.A.

Mobility Justice Advocates Gather in Leimert Park for Untokening California

She had had enough of hearing her community spoken about in offensive ways by well- (and not-so-well-) meaning planners and advocates, enough of giving 110 percent of herself only to realize a fraction of what she put forward was being seen as having value, enough of how disinterested those with power over what happened in marginalized communities remained in the larger picture, and enough of being tokenized.

Separate but Eco: Livable Communities for Whom?

Note: The authors are active advocates in the urban sustainability movement, focusing on non-motorized transportation in low-income urban areas. As mixed race women of color, we believe that we are in a unique position to bridge the advocacy communities trying to better conditions for the urban poor and for the environment. In this series, we […]