On site foundation
Our aim is to help develop, create and strengthen local communities by creating PLACES that evoke social interactions and bring people together.
We want to bring back and enliven natural gathering spaces such as marketplaces or backyards that for various reasons do not fulfill their functions well, are deserted, or have become dangerous. A PLACE is a space designed in such a way as to encourage people to be in place, to meet and interact with one another.
PLACES have the potential to create lively local communities. We believe that only spaces created by the residents themselves can function as intended – thus, we always work with both the space and its users.
The method: we operate in the spirit of our partner organization, the New York based Project for Public Spaces.
Why we work
- Because we put people in the first place – it is not the architecture and not the design that is most important. Spatial solutions are meant to serve people and not to be merely an interesting form of creation. We don’t ask the question “Is the building good?”. Our question is “Does the building do good?”
- Because places are essential – Warsaw needs good quality public spaces – PLACES. What is also necessary is good practice and know-how to be able to create them. We see a great necessity to discuss how a given space can be useful to people, so that a valuable spot in the city would not become another “fancy salon”.
- Because it’s all about right here and right now – we rely on inexpensive and mobile implementations. We want to apply low-budget, creative solutions that can bring about immediate changes. A common and discouraging practice is organizing public consultations and then not complying with the postulates or postponing them indefinitely.
- Because the residents are also experts – we want to convince the residents and make them believe that they are the experts on the spaces they live in, as opposed to some detached and revered “real” experts. Professional designers and architects are supposed to help people by putting their ideas into effect. Sociologists and cultural animators, on the other hand, should inspire and show examples of good solutions.
- Because we are mustering a coalition for good spaces – we combine the potential, the know-how and the strengths of different areas: local authorities + residents + scientists + entrepreneurs + cultural personalities.
How we work
Our foundation derives its knowledge of creating and maintaining lively urban spaces by taking advantage of the interdisciplinary combination of studies in sociology, environmental psychology, architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism.
- we work together with residents: we implement long-term projects to activate and integrate local communities;
- we collaborate with local authorities: in order to improve the residents’ participation in urban planning procedures and processes, as well as to raise the competence level of officials who deal with spatial development;
- Strategies and reports: we invent strategies and prepare reports on spatial and social development as well as on community planning.
Download our materials
- Mariensztat Market Square under observation – evaluation of the neighborhood
- Urban analysis of the vicinity of Mariensztat Market Square featuring problems with passageways for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as public transport issues
- Krochmalna 3 square under observation – evaluation of the neighborhood
- Urban description “Krochmalna 3” square and „Osiedle za Żelazną Bramą”
Summary of 2014 and plans for 2015