This September advocates, practitioners and policy makers will gather in Vancouver, British Columbia to chart the future of placemaking around the world.
Read the Conference Report

Local Places for Global Change

Public spaces are at the core of many global issues—from health to sustainability, innovation to equity. The Placemaking Leadership Forum is all about leveraging this convergence. Building on the work of PPS’s Placemaking Leadership Council and the international Future of Places conference series, attendees will develop concrete strategies for advancing placemaking locally and globally.

This gathering takes place just weeks before the Habitat III Conference in Quito, which will finalize a “New Urban Agenda” to guide global urban development over the next two decades. Placemaking—and the holistic lens it brings to urban policy and investment—offers a way for local communities to fulfill the promise of these international agreements.

Photos courtesy of Paul Krueger and PPS


Consistently rated the most livable city in North America, Vancouver’s scenic beauty, pristine natural environment, and progressive development policies have transformed the city to one that any urbanist would love to call home.

Vancouver made a choice to be a people centric city at a time when many cities in North America were in the thrall of the automobile and using freeways as tools of urban renewal. In doing so, the city preserved its walkable urban core, encouraged the development of dense mixed use neighborhoods, and protected its open spaces.

The city was also home to Habitat I in 1976, the first iteration of the the UN's sustainable development conference, which is only held every two decades. It is only fitting, as we approach Habitat III, that Vancouver plays host to our discussion of the best strategies for implementing the New Urban Agenda.


Check out the full print schedule and program below.


Everything is local. By applying new strategies for improving public spaces in our communities, we can better address challenges that affect people around the world.

Communities are increasingly adopting a holistic and participatory model of city-building that breaks down silos between city departments and disciplines. Read more…
The lively, entrepreneurial hubs that are emerging in today’s cities—like innovation districts, public markets, or arts and culture clusters—are forging new models of place-led economic development. Read more…
Good design involves much more than making “bold” and “innovative” aesthetic expressions; great design helps us achieve solutions to today’s major urban issues, from environmental destruction to economic decline and social alienation. Read more…
Sprawl and poorly planned growth result in uneven access to resources, poor air quality, and streets that are unsafe for walking or bicycling; how we design and plan our public spaces has a direct impact on the physical, mental, and social health of individuals and communities. Read more…
Great places benefit everyone; they connect existing residents of a community, instead of dividing, alienating, or displacing them. Read more…
The decisions that designers and engineers make—about sidewalk widths, the presence of street trees, walking and biking accessibility, traffic speeds, etc.—have a huge influence on how successfully a street can function as a safe, comfortable, inviting, accessible place. Read more…
By linking food with place, urban public market systems can be vital centers of community exchange, and places that anchor local culture and social life for all residents.
In addressing the proven and urgent threats to our natural environment, we need to drive change and innovation by creating dynamic places that can produce not only environmental benefits, but broad social and economic returns as well.
Residents of small towns face unique challenges, and placemaking is a key component of broad-based strategies for maintaining long-term community vitality and economic growth in local communities. Read more…
Creative placemaking is an integrative approach to urban planning and community building that stimulates local economies and leads to increased innovation, cultural diversity, and civic engagement. Read more…


We are thrilled to announce some of the 100+ speakers for the Placemaking Leadership Forum.

The Placemaking Movement