Public space

Public realm: greens, plazas, fountains

What we like - and don't like - about our cities

American city dwellers place a high value on restaurants and farmers’ markets, historic buildings and good public spaces. Traffic, not so much.

Meet the original 'High Line'

New York’s City’s hugely successful High Line wasn’t the first elevated urban railroad bed to be converted into a much-loved linear park. That honor goes to the Promenade Plantee in Paris.

Celebrating Public Art: Chicago in the summer

A recent trip to Chicago on the first weekend of summer reinforced the importance of great public art.

Placemaking initiative is a departure for Southwest

PPS is working with Southwest Airlines on a multiyear partnership to fund public space visioning, improvements, programming, and management in cities that Southwest serves. 

The human-scale in Providence

To animate the capital of Rhode Island's central square, perhaps we should borrow an idea from Greece.

The coolest urban trail you are likely to see

Indianapolis's remarkable Cultural Trail is more than a pedestrian and bike trail. It demonstrates green infrastructure while guiding users through the city’s most important neighborhoods and assets.

How to build great streets

Some of the engineering solutions aimed at achieving “complete streets” fall short of their goal, say the authors of an authoritative new book. It would be better to focus on enclosure, architecture, overall width, and trees, they say.

Five ways to think about greener, healthier cities

I like to consider “people habitat” – the realm of places that humans build and inhabit – as having an ecology of its own, roughly analogous to that of natural wildlife habitat. 

Great public space 'never ceases to yield happiness,' book says

Happy City, Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, a book by Charles Montgomery, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013, 359 pp., $27 hardcover.

Walkable is good, 'sit-able' is better

Complementing the "walkable" with a more purposeful focus on places where people feel comfortable sitting would lead to a more holistic and enhanced understanding of place.

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