How can we build better public places in our cities? In this video, Fred Kent and Kathy Madden, founders of Project for Public Spaces (PPS) in New York City, share the organization’s internationally recognized approach to placemaking, using the “lighter, quicker, cheaper” method to demonstrate what is possible with a little creativity and vision.

Since the organization’s inception in 1975, PPS has been testing simple, short-term, and low-cost approaches to enlivening public spaces. Their work has had remarkable impacts on the shaping of neighborhoods and cities: many of these solutions are documented in the 2007 book:The Great Neighborhood Book: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Placemaking.

This talk was organized by the Montréal Urban Ecology Centre as part their Urban Ecology Days program in May and June, 2015, and hosted by the Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal. It was presented in tandem with the launch of the Centre’s Guide sur l’urbanisme participatif: Aménager des villes avec et pour les citoyens, which is available for purchase or as a PDF here.

PPS founder Fred Kent shares lessons on placemaking from J.W. McConnell Family Foundation on Vimeo.
We want a country in which:

  • public, private and social sectors are engaged in active efforts to close the gap between the socioeconomic wellbeing of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people
  • the public sector, private investors and philanthropists separately and collaboratively deploy financial capital to create positive social and environmental impact
  • social innovation is an integral part of Canada’s innovation ecosystem, enabling civic institutions to co-create policies, initiatives and programs that enable citizens to contribute a diversity of skills and perspectives to Canadian society
  • public, private and civil society sectors act collaboratively and courageously to advance human thriving and address shared challenges
  • humans’ social and economic footprint is in balance with the natural ecosystems that sustain life.