Urban design | Architecture | Placemaking

New York | Meeting up with Project for Public Spaces

Between New York straight blocks we find the Project for Public Spaces’ office, located on Manhattan’s Broadway. Right next to NYU and Washington Square park. Here Street Studies was welcomed by Senior Vice President at Project for Public Spaces, Cynthia Nikitin.

Welcome Placemakers, Project for public spaces New York Broadway 2019 - Street Studies besøger PPS og finder denne gestus når vi træder indenfor

PPS’ vision is based on helping people create and sustain public spaces that contribute to strong communities. They promote place-oriented urban development with the community playing a significant role. Also known as Placemaking. A concept that goes back to PPS’ early work, with William Whyte and the world-famous urban activist Jane Jacobs in the center.

They are recognized as the worlds leading Placemaking-
organization and have established themselves as an influential ‘Go-To’ for policy-planners, municipalities, communities etc. throughout the world.

During the 44 years that PPS has been around, they have managed to create a global network that helps connect people with ideas, resources and expertise in place making. At the same time, they have worked actively with creative placemaking – The creative process to support change in neighborhoods – As the key to solving some of society’s greatest challenges in modern urban planning.

Some of their experience build up from working with over 3000 communities in 47 countries, has been condensed and published in the book “How to turn a Place around”. The book provides solid tools for meaningful urban space transformations and is a must-have for any community-centered urban professional.

Needless to say, it was a great opportunity for Street Studies to get sparring and exchange ideas with the PPS-team. All amazing and passionate people, that made us realize how diverse and multi-faceted concepts are at stake in order to unfold truly great places.

Street Studies president Steffen Gray was invited to do a presentation on our way into placemaking and our experiences with the PPS-concepts. We also discussed how we structure Danish fee-for-service models as a non-profit NGO – and how we utilize the dynamics between our community work and our commitment to the world’s leading graffiti & street art festival, Meeting or Styles.

This presentation concluded in a Q&A with questions on our approach to creative placemaking, and we were offered great new ideas on how Street Studies can become even sharper. This meetup sparked potentials for future collaborations where Street Studies and Project for Public Spaces can spar with each other and develop new ideas together across continents.

Thank you for having us! It was truly memorable.


Cynthia Nikitin joins Street Studies in Denmark during during the Meeting of Styles Copenhagen in July 2019 to give a presentation on creative place making our event Murals, community and place for urban professionals (20 July 2019) – We still have seats, so don’t miss out on this great opportunity to hear about Creative Placemaking.

/Signe Darré