placemaking

Food Fridays at Sunset Market, Albuquerque, NM. Photo: Project for Public Spaces

One of the country’s top experts on placemaking is visiting town to speak at the next Dallas Architecture Forum event.

Fred Kent, the Founder and President of Project for Public Spaces (PPS), is widely recognized as a leading authority on revitalizing city spaces and is one of the foremost thinkers in livability, smart growth, and the future of the city.

If you’re wondering, “what exactly is placemaking?,” here’s a good working definition from his organization:

As both an overarching idea and a hands-on approach for improving a neighborhood, city, or region, Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, Placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value. More than just promoting better urban design, Placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.

With community-based participation at its center, an effective Placemaking process capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, and it results in the creation of quality public spaces that contribute to people’s health, happiness, and well being.

Kent will speak on Wednesday, May 4, at 7 p.m. at the Magnolia Theatre in the West Village, 3699 McKinney Ave.

(more…)

The Legacy West development in Frisco, designed by Ross Conway and his team at Gensler. All photos and renderings: Ross Conway

The Legacy West development in Frisco, designed by Ross Conway and his team at Gensler. All photos and renderings: Ross Conway

In our ongoing series, Interview with an Architect, we speak with leading voices in the North Texas architecture community and learn about their work, development issues in our community, and good design practices and principals (you can read the last one here).

Ross Conway

Ross Conway

Ross Conway, AIA, LEED AP, is Senior Associate and Design Director in the Lifestyle Studio at Gensler’s Dallas offices, where he has worked for almost 14 years.

His portfolio includes big names like the Dallas Cowboys Headquarters (The Star) in Frisco, the Legacy West addition in Frisco, Preston Hollow Village, The Shops at Park Lane, The Gate in Frisco, The Music Factory in Irving, and the Brazos Riverfront in Waco.

One of his current tasks is the $100-million Bishop Arts redevelopment in North Oak Cliff, an enterprise he calls “a once-in-a-career project for me.”

Conway grew up in Arlington and earned a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington. He and his wife recently built a house in Urban Reserve, a Lake Highlands neighborhood of 50 modern, single-family homes, designed by a select group of regionally and nationally recognized architects, including Evan Beattie, the first person we interviewed for this series. He’s also on the architectural review committee there.

CandysDirt: Where are you with the Bishop Arts redevelopment?

Ross Conway: We will finish the design in next few months, and [developer] Exxir Capital wants to start construction in August for phase one. We want to gradually grow it over a two-year process, getting it built out to let people get used to it, and to take into consideration people’s concerns.

(more…)