Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization founded in 1975 that has completed projects for markets, waterfronts, walkable and bike friendly streets, and parks, in over 3000 communities in 43 countries and all 50 US states. They call their process PLACEMAKING. Placemaking is a catalyst for building healthy, sustainable and economically viable cities of the future.
PPS has an excellent short paper “9 Steps to Creating a Great Waterfront” Step 2: MAKE SURE PUBLIC GOALS ARE THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE, Step 3 BUILD ON EXISTING ASSETS & CONTEXT, Step 4 CREATE A SHARED COMMUNITY VISION Step 6 CONNECT DESTINATIONS ALONG THE WATERFRONT Step 9 START SMALL TO MAKE BIG CHANGES!
At www.pps.org just look at the FABULOUS projects PPS is doing in other communities. Parks and Streetscapes. FAR MORE CREATIVE than anything being considered for our park and MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE! Many of these things can be done for a small fraction of the cost of our proposed park!
Look at their Lighter, Quicker Cheaper plans to move public space plans ahead. Transformative Placemaking- “Turning everything upside down to get it right side up”….we could use just such a shake up in Key West! The “Power of 10” is the idea that any great place itself needs to offer at least 10 things to do or 10 reasons to be there. These could include a place to sit, playgrounds to enjoy, art to touch, music to hear, food to eat, history to experience, and people to meet.
PPS brings stakeholders TOGETHER. They listen to the community and what they want in a space. I would bet about anything – they could work with the Walsh family and the Westin and get Admirals Cut open! I would bet once the Walsh family talked with Projects for Public Spaces they would jump at opening Admirals Cut so their guests could enjoy this wonderful new park- a park that none of us here can even begin to imagine.
I talked extensively with Projects for Public Spaces Founder and President Fred Kent and Kathy Madden, Senior Vice President back in 2010 and the spring of 2011. They were very excited to work with Key West in developing a once in a life time parcel of land that would be beyond most peoples imagination. Richard Tallmadge, who is on the TWAB, and I took part in a conference call with Fred and Kathy back almost 3 years ago. We have a copy of a proposal where PPS would work with Key West to develop a plan for our park where EVERYONE’s dreams and needs in a park would be included. PPS conducts Quick Impact Workshops of 1 – 3 days including PPS representations and community workshops.
In their proposal of 2011 in
Phase 1: They would: 1. review existing documents 2. Interview stakeholders and hold a working session with City officials 3. Hold a Placemaking Workshop – as part of the Placemaking workshop PPS uses Place Performance Evaluation – through common sense, intuition, structured observation and interviewing participants quickly see good and bad qualities of a place, it ignites a creative process about how to make a place vital and great. There is Facilitator Training where PPS trains City officials and TWAB members to facilitate additional simpler Place Performance Evaluation Exercises that many other City projects could benefit from! Deliverable is a summary of the workshop findings along with results from the Stakeholder interviews and working session with City officials. This forms the basis for the conceptual design and written report.
Phase 2: Develops a Concept Plan and Report. The plan would illustrate the long-term vision for the waterfront including types of activities and uses at different times of day and year (eg markets, festivals, performances) types and location of amenities such as seating, lighting, public art, focal points, connections to adjacent areas relationships to existing and new buildings and improvements to streets, sidewalks and pedestrian routes. The concept plan is summarized in a report with ideas for programming and events, integration of the new road design and includes case studies of existing, successful management structures and examples of PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS. The report is in a format suitable for incorporating into an RFP for the various consultants that are necessary to implement the project.
PPS would then send the draft Concept Plan to TWAB and the City for review and comment. PPS then finalizes a report based on comments and would make a powerpoint presentation of recommendations and concepts to key stakeholders and community members .
Their proposed budget allows 20 hours for PPS to continue working with TWAB and the City during the design, development, and implementation process – such as helping prepare the RFP, reviewing preliminary designs and management plans. Beyond those hours PPS is available on an hourly basis.
PPS provides an introduction to their contacts who have successfully implemented a management structure into their public spaces and would help guide TWAB and the City through the process of developing an entity to MANAGE THE WATERFRONT. Deliverables are a concept plan in graphic format and final written report.Can Key West afford $70,000 to get our park on its way and out of this stagnant state it has been in for too many years. I say we cannot afford NOT to involve Projects for Public Spaces.
Maybe TWAB or the City will recognize what great things PPS can do for us – get us movingahead, possibly open up Admirals Cut, help us create a park everyone will love – citizens, NOAA and the Eco Center, the USS Ingham, the powerboaters and sailors, Taste of Key West, the Westin, residents of Truman Annex, and tourists. They would also advise us on successful management structure for the park.
Go to www.pps.org and look at the people enjoying their parks, streets, waterfronts that PPS has inspired. Look at what they have done for Detroit!
Projects for Public Spaces CAN GET US ON OTHE RIGHT PATH. Help us develop the park we all envision and beyond.
I am hopeful TWAB and the City Commission will recognize our need for PPS. To discuss Projects for Public Spaces or to see their April 2011 proposal for them to come to Key West and work with us, contact Christine Russell via the Blue Paper.
We get one shot and one shot only develop this last waterfront parcel for the people of Key West. Are we on the right track?
PLEASE ATTEND THE TWAB MEETING TUESDAY Jan 21 5:30
A Word on Parking Lots
As the Truman Waterfront plans have progressed, one continuing community complaint is about all the asphalt, parking lots and traffic that will be encouraged through Bahama Village and Truman Annex. People have long asked for a “green” park. And no Commissioner Rossi that does not mean just grass, or astroturff and a couple park benches so the power boats have open range to roam. It means a well thought out, creative park design with all the amenities. Public transportation can make frequent stops at the park for the elderly and disabled. Some parking can be provided for those needing to carry athletic equipment or items for events.
But let’s talk about PARKING LOTS
Finding a Place for Public Parking: Parking Spaces Usually Diminish Public Spaces –
But It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way.
by Ethan Kent.
“Despite what you may have heard, nobody goes to a place solely because it has parking. In fact, the current obsession with parking is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving livable cities and towns, because it usually runs counter to what should be our paramount concern: creating places where people enjoy spending time. As long as the myth persists that economic prosperity depends on parking, local governments will continue to waste public money and distort the public planning process.”
“The realization that creating a place where people want to come and spend time is more important than parking unfortunately eludes many municipalities. Worrying about and wasting public money onparking is taking over the public planning process and subsequently parking is taking over our communities”. “The hang-up on parking is an indicator that a community has no broader vision for itself”. “Think of the most popular district in your region – places like downtown Cambridge, MA, or the French Quarter of New Orleans. Is it easy to park there? No way! But do people go? You bet! They’ll walk six blocks from their car to a store, and LIKE it! Which is to say that people don’t come to an area for the parking, they come for what’s distinct and special about that place. “ I would add they are going to SHOP as they WALK!
“Why should towns create excess parking spaces if all that asphalt detracts from the qualities that attracted people in the first place? Many communities that have parking shortages are actually thriving. When there appears to be a parking shortage, the most likely explanation is that people are simply not obeying parking laws. In the business district of Poughkeepsie, NY, PPS found that more than half the on-street parking was illegal.”
An added benefit to” reducing the supply of parking, is demand for mass transit goes up and new destinations form around transit stops.”
“Spending money on such public amenities instead of parking may seem radical, but in fact it is a wise investment. Pedestrians feel more comfortable walking because of the slower vehicle speeds and reduced number of curb cuts. Businesses get more passersby and first-time walk-ins. Drivers make fewer trips, waste less time in the car, get more exercise walking, and even enjoy the experience of driving downtown more — because it is a pleasant place to be, not a parking lot. “
“Consider the city of Copenhagen, which has instituted a policy to reduce parking by two percent each year. The risk has paid off many times over by the number of people who now walk and bike to the city center”.-