A descriptive paragraph that tells clients how good you are and proves that you are the best choice that they’ve made.
Combatting loneliness on campus
A Single Day, A World of Influence: The Legacy of ‘One Boy’s Day’
Understanding Users: Crafting Engaging Public Spaces with Personas
In this post, I want to unpack the role of user personas in designing public spaces, focusing on how they can help you program and design a space that has broad, but targeted appeal.
The Power of Narrative in Public Space Design
A community or a client can often explain at length what they envision in a project – let’s say a new downtown park – but these thoughts and descriptions often fade into the background once the design process gets underway.
An Ecological Approach to Placemaking, Part 7
In our work as urban planners, designers, architects, and developers, we usually neglect the opportunity to create explorable environments that stimulate our senses and reveal themselves in layers, not all at once.
An Ecological Approach to Placemaking, Part 6
One of the keys to creating really vibrant places is to drill down on what potential audiences can be served with amenities and programming. Diversify your audiences and you will get immense payoff.
Center City’s Secret Weapon: Public Spaces
An Ecological Approach to Placemaking, Part 5
The Haunting Beauty of Lincoln’s Haymarket District
An Ecological Approach to Placemaking, Part 4
Program refers to those elements in our urban environment that offer utility, such as a retail store, a playground, an interesting fountain, or a temporary event.
The more diverse the offering of activities and engaging elements, the more people will gravitate to a place. A simple test of whether a public space makes use of program is to ask: Does this place offer a variety of things to do?
Granville Island: The Ultimate Mixed-Use District
An Ecological Approach to Placemaking, Part 3
On the other hand, walking through many of our downtown areas you will find a nagging sense that something is wrong and you don’t belong – this is quite possibly the fact that you are in a place that is stripped down to a minimal palette comprised mainly of asphalt and concrete. Sound familiar?
An Ecological Approach to Placemaking, Part 2
People are the most adaptable of all animals, and it has been millennia since our species left the savannahs and forests behind in favor of larger and larger settlements. But it is a very recent phenomenon that we squeezed ourselves almost out of our environment to favor the movement of cars.
An Ecological Approach to Placemaking
Over thousands of years, peoples’ needs have been met in increasingly urban environments: as we moved out of the forests and savannahs into settlements that gradually got bigger and bigger, our species successfully adapted these towns and cities so they always met our needs – we created urban environments where we felt good and thrived.
Struggling to Maintain Olmsted’s Legacy
Sadly, over the years Hartford followed the same trends that destroyed much of the fabric of our cities.
Putting Soul into Planning and Design
Whether it’s furniture, paint, art, or lawn ornaments, humans are hardwired to personalize the places in which we live. To differentiate them from those of our neighbors. To create a place in which we feel good. To make them a home.
The question then is why does this so rarely translate to the design of our cities and neighborhoods? Why do we have to fight for ourselves as humans for the public places in which we can feel alive? Why is the city building process so normalized to scraping clean every artifact that makes us feel good and replacing it with big, boring, uniform rectangles?
Treasure Hunting on Campus
And, if this process continues, what kind of people will we become as we live, work, and study in these “soulless” spaces?
Welcoming Locals with the Civic Park Groundbreaking!
Realizing the Promise of Knowledge Communities
The Monoculture of Midtown Manhattan
Placemaking for Higher Impact
It seems like such a dated concept – shouldn’t we be way beyond this one-dimensional approach to investing public money? As my friend Gary Toth often says about roads and highways, “The era of single-purpose public investment is over.” Well it should be anyway.
Pro-tip: Start using “-ing lists”
Creating Great Streets: A Different Approach
Experience of Place: Epcot vs. Main Street USA
But we can also learn from the Disney experiment.