April 18, 2012

APA Announces First Public Space Biennial of the Americas

Inaugural event to be held with APA's National Planning Conference in 2013.

LOS ANGELES — The American Planning Association's Chief Executive Paul Farmer, FAICP, announced plans to hold the inaugural Public Space Biennial of the Americas in 2013. Farmer made the announcement during his remarks at the association's National Planning Conference in Los Angeles.

The Public Space Biennial of the Americas will be held in conjunction with APA's 2013 National Planning Conference in Chicago, April 13–17, 2013. The biennial will focus on the importance of public spaces in encouraging civic engagement and the role planners and allied professionals have in creating and maintaining public spaces.

The event will highlight public spaces with a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and vision for tomorrow. The Biennial is a part of APA's ongoing Great Places in America program. Since 2007, APA has recognized great streets, great neighborhoods, and great public spaces across the United States. More than 110 designations have been made to date.

As a "conference within a conference," the symposium also will culminate in recognition of the highest caliber public spaces.

"Public spaces have always served an important civic purpose throughout America," said Farmer. "These spaces help foster public engagement and interaction. And planners have a role in facilitating the creation and maintenance of these public spaces where people can exercise their constitutional freedoms of speech and assembly."

The biennial will bring together academics and professionals in the fields of design, planning, history, historic preservation, and other disciplines to focus on the design and use of public space. It will focus on public spaces across the Americas with materials produced in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French to reflect the diversity of the hemisphere.


Roberta Rewers, APA, 312-786-6395; rrewers@planning.org