Are your public spaces special places?
Quality public space, from humble sidewalks to great parks, define the character of urban life.
They bring distinction to a city, satisfaction and enjoyment to its residents, fond memories to visitors.
They also bring value to nearby real estate and help strengthen the urban economy.
Quality public spaces are our specialty, our experience, and our mission.
We work with public agencies, developers, and nonprofits to create great parks, playgrounds,
and pedestrian ways. We transform those that have fallen on hard times. We orchestrate the many
players, using proven, locally relevant techniques to produce places that are attractive to daily and
distant visitors, to shoppers, to property owners, and to investors. We make the effort worthwhile.
Successful urban spaces are dynamic. They have a positive momentum that builds community spirit and discourages misuse of facilities.
Programs that vary with the seasons and setting are the key. Good programs satisfy those who want repose and those who need action. They draw on the worlds of music, theater, dance, commerce, film, literature,sport, fitness, and fun. They make the most of local talent and resources. Town Square has a portfolio of program ideas from around the world to stimulate planning for particular spaces. The local audience will, of course, have the final word.
Public spaces need not be cost centers. Properly managed, they can support services that attract the public and create operating revenue. Revitalized spaces that contribute to rising retail and real estate values can share in those values. Town Square knows the ins and outs of rentals, concessions, sponsorship, event rentals, philanthropic fundraising, use fees, assessments and all the devices available to launch the renewal of an urban space and assure its continuing success.
It’s more than embellishments like attractive furniture and street signs. Good design of a public space involves close study of existing strengths and weaknesses, infrastructure, familiar footpaths and patterns. It considers access for able-bodied and disabled users, strollers, and supply trucks. It addresses the need for both intimate places and wide-open spaces, for flexibility. It employs materials suited to the weather, the level of wear and tear, ease of maintenance, and the budget. Good design sets the stage. Town Square blends local know-how with tried and true techniques to achieve designs that do the job.
We work collaboratively with engineers, architects and landscape
architects to evolve the design of spaces to foster the active urban life that the spaces should host, as well as to allow for the revenue generation that will maintain them over the long term.
One quality must remain constant in successful spaces, and that is the level of care. Constant care is the mission of a staff trained in their specialties and in teamwork. Security is one specialty, but all on-site workers must project the spirit of a safe and welcoming space. Town Square will help you determine and qualify the staff you need for day-to-day operations and ongoing maintenance. We will work with you to build congenial relations with related municipal staff as well as realistic budgets. Maintaining a thriving and active space is more management intensive than if little took place there, but it will set you apart from local competition.
Quality public space creates activity and increases real estate values. Conversely, bad spaces are a drag on both usage and values. We are here to help you make this case to investors, municipalities and the community and support investment in quality public space and infrastructure.
Public-Private Partnerships -the so called P3s- are successful because they borrow the best attributes of the public and private sectors. But when is it time to setup your own Conservancy or to create a management mechanism for your city center, park, or plaza, and how is it best to define the rights and responsibilities of each party? What should you agree to, and what should you ask for?
Through our experience helping not for profits negotiate their management agreements, both in the US and abroad, we have come to realize even when all the powers at play agree on the task at hand and share common goals, important questions can be left unanswered, and opportunities missed.
TOWN SQUARE will help you make the best of the creation of your initial framework or make the right asks when renegotiating, positioned in such a way both public and private sector partners can say "Yes."