The Future Cities Collaborative has partnered with global experts to bring placemaking expertise to Australian cities, and together we are working to inspire city leaders to create great places for their citizens. 

The Porch

The Porch at 30th St Station in Philadelphia, PA - A Project for Public Spaces project.

The Future Cities Collaborative has worked with Project for Public Spaces (PPS) to advance the Placemaking movement in Australia since 2013. Placemaking refers to both the idea and the hands on approach of connecting people and place. Placemaking is a catalyst for building healthy, sustainable and economically viable cities for the future. Transformative approaches help people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities encompassing economic development, environmentalism, transportation planning, governance and design. PPS, located in New York City, is the central hub of the global Placemaking movement, connecting people to ideas, expertise, and partners who share a passion for creating vital places.

Workshops, Masterclasses and Symposia

Project for Public Spaces has been supporting workshops with our members and partners since 2013. We have run several workshops and masterclasses, with multiple per year, and have worked with the members of the Future Cities Collaborative, NSW Government departments and agencies, and the wider urban design and planning community. We have also worked recently with the Media Architecture Biennale 2016 to put together a summit with city-leaders and a panel of local and inernational experts. Read a summary of the two keynote presentations by PPS experts, Ethan Kent and Daniel Latorre, from the summit here:

Read a summary of select workshops and masterclasses here:

Read a detailed summary 

Experts and Guest Speakers

The Future Cities Collaborative has had the privilege of hosting several global placemaking experts and thought leaders. 

Ethan Kent - Senior Vice President, Project for Public Spaces 

Ethan Kent

Ethan Kent works to support Placemaking organizations, projects and leadership around the world. During over 17 years at PPS, Ethan has traveled to more than 750 cities and 55 countries to advance the cause of Placemaking and public spaces. Ethan has been integral to the development of Placemaking as a transformative approach to economic development, environmentalism, transportation planning, governance and design.

Having worked on over 200 PPS projects, Ethan has led a broad spectrum of Placemaking efforts, providing comprehensive public engagement, planning and visioning for many important public spaces. Highlights have included: Times Square in New York; Kennedy Plaza in Providence, RI; Pompey Square, Nassau, Bahamas; Garden Place in Hamilton, New Zealand; Sub Centro Las Condes in Santiago, Chile; and The Porch, Philadelphia, PA. He has also worked with some of the most high profile developments in the world to help maximize public space outcomes in Hong Kong, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Auckland, Parramatta and Sao Paulo.

Utilizing lessons learned through his project work, Ethan regularly creates and conducts Placemaking training courses for professionals of various disciplines, from city planning staff in Vancouver, BC, to community development corporations in Detroit; from public housing developers in Sweden to traffic engineers in New Jersey. He has also trained hundreds of professionals across Australia and New Zealand, through leading more than 25 training workshops.

In order to begin to institutionalize Placemaking in cities, Ethan has initiated and led local Placemaking Partnerships and Campaigns with public, private and non-profit leaders to build capacity on all levels, shift organizational culture, implement demonstration projects and develop local campaigns for Placemaking. Ethan has applied this strategy in a wide range of cities including Chicago, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Baltimore, Seattle, San Francisco, Omaha, Flint, MI, Brunswick, ME, Bellingham, WA, Richmond, VA, Adelaide and Melbourne, Australia, Mississauga, Canada, in New Zealand and state-wide in Michigan.

This approach has had the most tangible effect in New York City where Ethan co-founded the NYC Streets Renaissance Campaign, as an effort to challenge auto-centric transportation policy and inspire a new public vision of streets as dynamic destinations. To launch the campaign, he directed an educational exhibit called Livable Streets: A New Vision for New York, then initiated and helped manage demonstration Placemaking processes with local stakeholders in some of NYC’s most important yet auto-dominated areas including Times Square, 9th Avenue in Hells Kitchen, the Meatpacking District, Myrtle Avenue, Columbus Avenue, Petrosino Square, Union Square and Grand Army Plaza. The campaign and its demonstration projects led to a bold shift in NYC transportation policy including a Public Plaza Program, managed by former PPS staff, that is reclaiming street space for dynamic new public spaces throughout the city.

Philip Winn - Senior Associate, Project for Public Spaces 

Philip WinnPhilip Winn is a Senior Associate at Project for Public Spaces and Program Manager for the Southwest Airlines ‘Heart of the Community’ program. He has helped develop, manage, and implement multiple ‘Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper’ projects at PPS including Belle Isle Summer Saturdays (Belle Isle, Detroit) and the Imagination Center (Burnside Park, Providence, RI). As Program Manager for ‘Heart of the Community’ he coordinates all aspects of the program from individual projects to broad thought leadership and volunteerism efforts.

Philip has brought his skills as a facilitator and project manager to Placemaking projects both domestic and international, from Baltimore and San Diego to Sydney and Mexico City. As a public speaker and session leader Philip has facilitated workshops and presented at conferences for the Placemaking Leadership Council, Net Impact, and multiple municipal governments and community groups. Philip also contributes to PPS education and advocacy projects as a writer, editor, photographer, and film producer.

Prior to joining PPS, Philip worked as a project manager at OpenPlans where he coordinated a series of transportation advocacy projects in collaboration with OpenPlans’ founder Mark Gorton and the staff of Streetsblog and Streetfilms.

Previously Philip worked as an Art Director and Art Dept. Coordinator in the New York film production community. He worked on a wide variety of projects including director Noah Baumbach’s feature film Margot at the Wedding and photographer Gregory Crewdson’s Beneath the Roses project.

Philip holds a B.A. from Columbia University where he studied English literature. He attended the Yale School of Architecture where he cemented his passion for the intersection of urban design and culture, learned how to draw, and built a house.


Daniel Latorre - Senior Fellow, Digital Placemaking, Project for Public Spaces

Daniel set up PPS’ Digital Placemaking program starting in January of 2010. He set up this practice at PPS to authentically marry Placemaking with current online civic engagement best practices and build the right staffing mix to communicate it. Since February of 2013 Daniel moved into a senior advisor consulting role to further best practices at PPS and with other like-minded organizations.

Daniel brings to PPS over 16 years of online experience in human-centered digital media design, online marketing and communications, social media product strategy, and online technology planning. He has managed project budgets ranging from thousands of dollars to $2.4 million with leading firms such as CKS Group (the first integrated print-TV-digital firm founded by former Apple marketing mangers), Razorfish (a leading global digital consultancy), Funny Garbage (a pioneering boutique digital design studio), McCann-Erikson (one of the largest advertising firms), Scholastic (the largest U.S. K-12 books, media, and education-technology publisher), and OpenPlans/Streetsblog/Streetsfilms (an innovative open source civic technology nonprofit), and other companies and firms.

In recent years his focus shifted toward using effective design methods and today’s powerful social media technology for the civic realm in movements around open commons, open government, and now, open urban planning. Daniel’s current focus is on digital civic engagement for Placemaking— translating PPS’s place audits, survey methods, and place frameworks into digital products and services, and evolving the organization’s media communications practice in our highly networked era.

Since creating the Digital Placemaking program at PPS he has launched eight online mapping civic engagement projects; two of these online mapping projects were for an Institute for Urban Design urban design awareness campaign in NYC, and for a Participatory Budgeting pilot in NYC; six were for projects across a variety of scales from a rural main street to urban downtowns in Baltimore, Denver, San Antonio, Goteborg and Stockholm, Sweden.

David Adam - Founding Director, GlobalCities 

David AdamDavid Adam is Founding Director of GlobalCities, a niche consultancy providing advice on the business of cities. GlobalCities provides thought-leadership on Cities and Globalisation, examining economic, demographic, and technological trends and their interplay with urbanisation.

David has experience in delivering major projects with cities across multiple international markets, he has devised many high visibility brand positioning projects at the Olympics for London and Beijing. He writes and speaks on trends within globalisation and their impact on places. He is the founder of Future London - a consortium which developed the vision for a London bid to host the World Expo in 2025; he is co-author of the International Place Branding Manifesto, and a founder and collaborator of the Ke2 initiative sharing best practice in knowledge exchange from around the globe.

David is an associate of the urban think tank Centre for London, an expert for the European Best Place Institute, and expert contributor for the Urban Land Institute, and in 2014 he was recognised as a Young Leader by the World Cities Summit in Singapore.

He has held roles including Head of Emerging Markets at the London Development Agency and led on positioning London in the key markets of China, India, Russia and South America and defining London’s future economic strategy opportunities in new markets. He spearheaded Mayor Livingstone’s international relations initiatives in India in 2007 and - under Mayor Johnson’s administration - was responsible for London House - London’s brand platform during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.  


Peter Smith - Principal, Place Governance Partners and former CEO of Adelaide City Council 

Peter SmithPeter is internationally recognized as one of the world’s leading thinkers on Place Governance and the role that Government, the private sector and the community can play in successfully activating public spaces to achieve economic, social, creative and sustainable outcomes.

Peter has over 30 years’ experience working in CEO and senior executive roles in Federal, State and Municipal governments in Australia, with particular experience in leading major urban renewal programs and developing and implementing a range of successful place making, affordable housing, community development and social justice strategies and programs for Government.

Most recently he led the implementation of an award winning Place Making strategy at Adelaide City Council during his seven year term as the CEO (City Manager) which has led to the renaissance of inner city Adelaide in South Australia. Peter pioneered a unique three pronged approach to implementing the City Place Making strategy by linking public space activation to changes in the culture and governance processes of the City administration, whilst at the same time building the capacity of the community and private sector to manage and influence public space through a “place led” approach.

Peter is the recent past Chairman of Place Leaders Asia Pacific a network of over 100 public and private sector organizations and individuals that are interested in Place Making. In this role he has championed place making across Australia, New Zealand and SE Asia and he remains as a strategic advisor to the current Board. Peter has recently been appointed as a Senior Associate of Project for Public Spaces (PPS), New York, a global leader in place making advocacy and consultancy services and will work in partnership with PPS, with a particular focus on the Asia Pacific Region.


Melinda Hewitt - Deputy General Manager, Pittwater Council 

Melinda HewittMelinda has been with Pittwater Council for over six years and has been recently appointed to the role of Deputy General Manager - Environmental Planning and Community. Melinda brings to the Director's role extensive experience contributing to senior management in both the not-for-profit and local government sectors. Melinda was previously the Manager of the Place Management Business Unit. Within this role she is responsible for place management, economic development, arts and culture, urban design, events and the ‘Enliven Pittwater’ strategy.

Melinda has many years’ experience in management and social infrastructure planning, as well as experience in the development and implementation of social, cultural, community and economic development policy and strategy. Within her role at Council she is responsible for Planning and Assessment, Community and Library, Environmental Compliance and Waste, and Place Management. Melinda holds a Masters of Community Management, has successfully completed the Senior Executives in Local and State Government Program at Harvard.


International Events

The Future Cities Collaborative is pleased to be supporting Project for Public Spaces by promoting the following international opportunities: 

Public Events

Project for Public Spaces and Ethan Kent are global leaders of the placemaking movement, so each time they join us in Sydney we endevour to host public events so the knowledge can be shared with the wider community. 

Read summaries of our public events on placemaking here: 


The placemaking projects of the Future Cities Collaborative is an exciting initiative that is only growing bigger. Here we share some of the media generated about Placemaking, both in Australia, the USA, and across the globe. If you wish to contribute, Contact Us.  



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