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Wonderful Examples of Place Making, Spotlighted by PPS

Piggybacking off of T.A. Marciano’s post (The Perfect Winter Beach), I’m throwing a few more Place Making ideas into the ring. The following Place Making exercises were recently featured by Project for Public Spaces (PPS), the group that came to Buffalo to help the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) string together a series of Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper projects (such as the sunset chairs).

What I love about the projects that PPS highlighted on their site is that each one is unique, creative, and can be done rather quickly and inexpensively – Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper. The projects are all-inclusive, eye-catching, inspiring, and help to tell a story of the communities where they were fashioned. For full details on each one of these larger than life DIY projects, click here. In the meantime, hopefully these lessons will help to teach us that life is what we make of it.

I have taken each one of the ideas, and transposed the setting to a place in Buffalo that I feel would best serve the concept.

#1 – Umbrella Sky Project – Águeda, Portugal

Right off the bat, I thought of Osteria 166. The restaurant sits at the corner of Franklin and W. Mohawk. I could see this sort of overhead public art décor being suited to the street during a festival.


#2 – Think Micro – Izmir, Turkey

In Buffalo, we’ve seen landlocked PARK(ing) Day initiatives, but have we  ever thought about applying the concept to water? I could see this at Silo City, or even at the Buffalo Ship Canal.


#3 – Jewell of Brunswick in Melbourne, Australia

Now that Main Street in Downtown Buffalo is back in action (mostly), with a slew of retailers, I would think that outdoor dancing would be a huge hit.


#4 – Intersection Repair in Portland, Oregon

Look familiar? Remember when the Five Points neighborhood conducted its own exercise in neighborhood place making by creating an urban park at the intersection? It would be nice to see additional movement on that endeavor (see here).


#5 – MMOFRA Place in Accra, Ghana

Place making can be as simple or as complicated as we want to make it. In this case, an oversized swing has brought smiles to these kids’ faces. Each year Buffalonians Joy Grefrath Kuebler, Melissa Leopard and Marika Frankenstein create pop-up parks in the city, with similar results (see here). This idea can be adapted into any neighborhood setting.


All of these place making exercises are great ways to bring communities together. The results are inventive, transformative and infectious.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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