Resilience Roundup: Public Spaces Fighting Climate Change

Public spaces are where physical and social resilience meet. Looking past levees and seawalls, and even beyond nature-based solutions to climate risks, public space designers and managers have to get people into the picture as we all come to terms with the urban impacts of climate change.

A Return to Democratic Space

In our cities and towns, there isn’t a more democratic space than our streets and sidewalks. Buildings are exclusive—homes are private, offices are secure, you have to pay to get into the gym or eat at a restaurant. Yet, streets are inclusive, collectively ours, and the very essence of public space, shared by all citizens.

To Make a Great Third Place, Get Out of the Way

You are never finished. That is one of PPS’s 11 principles for creating great community places. For anyone working to create a great “third place” in their neighborhood, it is critical to remember that there will never be a time when the work is done. Real-world communities are incredibly dynamic, ever-changing things. A public space cannot be finished any more than the city in which it resides can be. At their best, public spaces are the most tangible reflections of cities and neighborhoods and the people who make them special. They are stages for public life, and should reflect the people who live, work, and play nearby.