Public Spaces and Public Life

Toolbox for Public Spaces and Public Life

Thank Your Local Placemaker

An innovative idea for thanking those who make our neighborhoods great

How to Design Our World for Happiness

Free download of OTC's new book: The Commons Guide to Placemaking and a Convivial Life

16 Ways to Make Your Neighborhood Safer, Greener & Fun

From Italy to Luckenbach, Texas, practical ideas for improving your hometown
Articles on Public Spaces and Public Life
January 8, 2013

It's All Happening at the Park

More than ever, we need common ground where all kinds of people can interact, learn and have fun
The Great American Neighborhood
September 10, 2012

The Great American Neighborhood

Welcome to Jacobsburg, which offers inspiring lessons in how to create a great community.
August 11, 2012

Low-income People Need Public Spaces the Most

Parks, squares, sidewalks, transit, schools and community centers are commons that can be used by all
August 5, 2012

The Fall and Rise of Great Public Spaces

Why we need parks, streetlife, squares, markets, trails, community gardens and other hang outs more than ever
June 25, 2012

From Middle East to Wall Street, Justice Depends on Public Spaces

What happens when people have no place to gather as citizens?
June 24, 2012

Why Don't We Do It in the Road?

The surprising absence of pedestrian streets in North America-- and what Calgary can show us
June 9, 2012

Let Us Now Praise Vacant Lots

Commoners work to keep these vital places in the public realm
November 30, 2011

Beloved Commons That Are Not Actually Commons

Support your favorite local, independent shops
October 29, 2011

Changing the World One Block at a Time

The neighborhood is a powerful—but often overlooked—tool for social improvement
October 15, 2011

The Architect Has No Clothes

Why so much modern design looks harsh and feels inhospitable
September 18, 2011

Great Green Public Spaces Right Under Our Noses

Cemeteries were once used like parks, which is beginning to happen again
July 19, 2011

What Happens When You Open the Streets for People

An outbreak of smiles on everyone's face-- and more
April 16, 2011

Designing the Commons Into Our Everyday Lives

Pocket neighborhoods bring us together within our neighborhoods
Sidewalk in Vienna
July 1, 2010

Takin' It to the Streets

Those who want to restrict the free flow of pedestrians will crush the vitality of our cities.