Placemaking is not a new idea. Project for Public Space (PPS), the nonprofit organization based in New York, has been using the concept of “placemaking” as their approach of helping people create and sustain public spaces that build strong communities. The thinking behind “placemaking” gained traction in the 1960s, when PPS mentors like Jane Jacobs and William H. Whyte introduced groundbreaking ideas about designing cities for people. In this lecture, the founders of PPS will talk about their urban research, intervention and recent projects about “placemaking”.
Mr Kent has been one of the leaders of the global Placemaking Movement. As the CEO and the founder of Project for Public Spaces and now a leader in forming the Global Placemaking Network, he has convened, amplified and built the capacity of the movement globally and locally. Through social media, pioneering online publications, far-reaching newsletter and numerous international meetings, conferences, and trainings, many thousands of constituents are reached annually.
Since 1975, Fred has worked on hundreds of projects, including Bryant Park, Times Square, the Port Authority Bus Terminal and Rockefeller Center in New York City; the transformation of Detroit’s Downtown working with Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans; and three projects at Harvard University, the Harvard Plaza, Harvard Square and Harvard Yard. These three spaces are being transformed to become the “center” of the Harvard and Cambridge community.
Before founding PPS, Fred studied with Margaret Mead and worked with William H. Whyte on the Street Life Project, assisting in observations and film analysis of corporate plazas, urban streets, parks and other open spaces in New York City. The research resulted in the now classic, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, published in 1980, which laid out conclusions based on decades of meticulous observation and documentation of human behavior in the urban environment.