Creating Great Chicagoland Places: MPC partners with the Project for Public Spaces - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Creating Great Chicagoland Places: MPC partners with the Project for Public Spaces

In March, MPC staff traveled to New York City to attend a workshop hosted by the Project for Public Spaces. The two-day workshop, titled “Streets as Places,” focused on reclaiming streets as pedestrian-friendly public spaces through "Placemaking," or designing public spaces around the way people want to use them. MPC will utilize the training to promote and build upon well-used public spaces in Chicagoland.

For more than 30 years, the internationally renowned Project for Public Spaces (PPS) has studied the way people use public places.  PPS has brought this knowledge to life in over 2,000 communities around the world by advocating for the design of public spaces around the way people want to use them, an approach they have termed “Placemaking.”  In an exciting collaboration, MPC will work with PPS to tailor Placemaking toChicago. 

As part of this project, MPC staff traveled to New York City in March to meet with PPS staff and attend a Placemaking workshop.  The workshop, “Streets as Places,” focused on ways to reclaim streets as pedestrian-friendly public spaces.  Experts on transportation and community design spoke about the need to design streets for people, not cars, and the importance of community input.  Approximately 40 people from nine states and three international countries attended the workshop, which featured presentations and an interactive place audit exercise. 

Building on knowledge gained in the workshop, MPC will work with PPS to create A Guide to Placemaking in Chicago, a resource for Placemaking in the Chicago region that is due to be released in October 2008.  Also in the fall, PPS and MPC will host a series of workshops for community groups and city staff and officials on Placemaking in Chicago, after which MPC and PPS will provide community technical assistance for Placemaking projects. 


For additional information, please contact Karin Sommer at (312) 863-6044 or or visit for Placemaking resources and inspiring stories about people making a difference in their community.

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For more than 85 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has partnered with communities, businesses, and governments to unleash the greatness of the Chicago region. We believe that every neighborhood has promise, every community should be heard, and every person can thrive. To tackle the toughest urban planning and development challenges, we create collaborations that change perceptions, conversations—and the status quo. Read more about our work »

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