2018 National Planning Conference

The Future of Public Space

Monday, April 15, 2019 from 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198182

Location: 2004

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  • Imagine a more expansive view of public space beyond parks and plazas.
  • Consider multiple viewpoints outside the typical realm of planning and design.
  • Devise ways to Begin similar dialogues on the nature and future of public space with others.


In 2018, SOM published a collection of essays that explore how different types of public space — urban and rural, real and virtual — impact our everyday experiences in an increasingly privatized world. The idea originated from a desire to start an inclusive and unconventional conversation about the built environment; it is intended to bring together leading voices on a single topic, in this case public space.
The success of the book has spurred a series of discussions around the country. They have deliberately featured a diverse roster of architects, designers, planners, writers, artists, and other practitioners working on urban issues related to public space and the public sphere. Inspired by and building off the book’s provocative essays, the panels are organized to address larger-scale issues and topics of local concern. The format creates naturally engaging and provocative conversation.
This session features a lively discussion on the nature of public space in our time. How is public space changing? Whom is it designed for? What are the implications of increasing privatization of public spaces? How does culture inform the ways we use and conceive of public space? Has our concept of “public” become too narrow?

This course is approved to offer 1.25 LU (AIA).
This course is approved to offer 1.25 PDH|HSW (ASLA).

Session Speakers

John A. King
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, CA

Garrett Jacobs
The Open Architecture Collaborative
San Francisco, CA

Daniel O'Shaughnessy, AICP
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
New York, NY

Peter Kindel
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
San Francisco, CA

Elizabeth Marley
IF/THEN // UCDavis

Jae Shin