PPS’s checklist for making great cities

Every once in a while a checklist is highly beneficial to remind one of the fundamentals. Today we bring you a civic-minded one from Project for Public Spaces*, Is Your City a Great City?

PPS’s checklist has seven principles with three to four action-oriented steps each, as you can see here. Below are those principles with the most cool town, natural cultural district-focused tactic to achieve each one:

Community goals are a top priority in city planning
Utilize crowdsourced placemaking. Learn about the conditions here and initiate the process here.

The emphasis is on pedestrians, not cars
Aim for pedestrian-only promenades, paseos and walks, with piazzas and courtyards – lots of examples here. Generations that grew up with suburbia will be resistant, but emerging generations prefer such scenes. Be patient and persistent – these places will surely come.

New development projects enhance existing communities
New developments tend to be out-of-human-scale and chain-retail-driven, so it’s vital to identify developers that insist on human-scaled buildings that crowdsource local, independent retail.

Public spaces are accessible and well-used
Most urban areas around the world (outside the U.S.) have pedestrian-only squares in the heart of the city that regularly act as the center stage for a performing city, or an outdoor dining scene.

Civic institutions are catalysts for public life.
Time to redefine schools, libraries and community centers that reflect the contemporary creative, knowledge-oriented times – one California city is looking to crowdsource its existing neglected library into a proactive cultural creative entertainment center and third place.

Local economic development is encouraged
Local independent businesses – necessary for a vibrant local economy and city culture. A very well-documented topic on this site.

Public spaces are managed, programmed and continually improved.
Once again, crowdsource the maintenance of a healthy neighborhood – see We Are Smarter Than Me for practical insight.

*”Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public places that build communities.”

Image source: Senado Square, Macau by Stephen’s Photo Journey

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