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Fred Kent, Placemaker

Fred Kent, Placemaker

Last January Fred did a talk followed by a walk; I was in the audience.

He was visiting several cities on this tour through the west — Los Altos, Stanford University, Pasadena, Riverside and Long Beach — where civic leaders are intrigued with enhancing their sense of place. That’s Fred’s business; he’s the man behind the Project for Public Spaces. He’s in the business of creating treasured spaces.

When I got word that he’d be giving this talk and walk I jumped at the opportunity to hear him in person. bikeNewportBeach‘s Dan Murphy and Matt O’Toole joined me for an early morning ride up the coast to downtown Long Beach.

Fred shared many of his projects’ outcomes — his Times Square redesign, Boston Market and many, many others.

As a result of this work he’s formed philosophies about designing places to better serve people:

Design for people, and you get more people. You start to build those communities that are just treasured and sacred places that you want to be born in, live all your life in and die in.Fred Kent

That’s simple and it’s what many built-out cities are looking for. How to take a space that’s been transformed over time into one thing then revitalize it for a more vibrant public space.

Why bother?
It’s good for business, good for tax revenues, but perhaps most importantly, it’s good for the people who live and work in these places.

Does it take a truck-load of money?
Fred will explain a “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” implementation strategy.

We need to turn everything upside down to get it right side up. To go from adequate to extraordinary, because we have to live in places that are extraordinary, because that’s what sustains us.

Fred is the man behind Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2012: Pro Place coming this September 10-13 in Long Beach. Join us; register today.

Show #38 Listen to Fred.

Fred Kent



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