Community design center and training course for Lower Manhattan helps people
create a 'sense of place'.

His views regarding designers have been controversial. The New York Times
described him as someone "who would like to see most architects hit the
road." Yet Fred Kent, President of the nonprofit Project for Public Spaces
(PPS), is matter of fact about the issue: "We're just asking architects to
create great civic spaces, not visual design statements." Expanding on the
work of William H. Whyte, the influential urbanist who studied the city by
observing how people used streets and plazas, Kent puts his beliefs into
practice by retrofitting problematic parks, plazas, shopping strips, and
streets across America.

This week, Project for Public Spaces launches two initiatives in its
hometown of New York, which put its placemaking expertise in the service of
rebuilding Lower Manhattan. ( is a web-based "community design
center" that aims to give New Yorkers a say in the re-development of
neighborhoods affected by the September 11th terrorist attacks. The website
promotes one of PPS' basic principles: "the community is the expert."

 “We’re asking people who know and use downtown intimately - residents,
workers and others - to contribute their local knowledge to help build a
vision for a revitalized downtown," says Julie Caniglia, Project Director
for Project for Public Spaces. "The website will evolve both as a major
information resource, and a place where people can publicly discuss the
issues while visioning, planning and rebuilding takes place.” is complemented by "How to Turn a Place Around," - PPS'
placemaking training course based in Lower Manhattan The course is designed to explore
the relationship between architecture and public spaces. Participants will
learn strategies for improving public spaces to strengthen security,
accessibility, and comfort - while increasing the level of public use and
contributing to the livability of the city.

For further information contact Harriet Festing [log in to unmask] 212 620
5660 or visit