Informational signage and community outreach are recommended prior to implementation to ensure that local stakeholders are aware and engaged in the project.
Art installations, performances, vendors, and markets improve the quality of and create an identity for public plazas while engaging local artists, communities, and business owners in the process.
Plazas may be introduced as an interim intervention, with low-cost materials such as paint, epoxied gravel, movable planters, and flexible seating. This intermediate application allows the community to build support for a public space in the near term, and test design solutions before major capital construction.
Temporary plazas are appropriate when:
• Safety or operational issues with existing traffic call for a temporary reconfiguration of an intersection.
• Funds have been allocated for the permanent installation of a plaza, but capital implementation remains several years away.
City-Led Plaza Programs
A city agency should identify opportunities to reclaim portions of the roadway and incorporate them into the public realm as a part of regular planning, design, and construction work. They can then maintain the plaza under the city budget or partner with local community organizations to manage ongoing maintenance.
Community-Led Plaza Programs
Cities should begin a formal public plaza program where local partners such as community groups, nonprofit organizations, associations, or business improvement districts propose a new plaza site through an application process.
Formal partnerships ensure that community partners assume responsibility for the space by committing to operate, maintain, manage, and program the plaza so it remains vibrant, safe, and active. Cities may prioritize neighborhoods where there is a lack of open space and fund the design and construction of the plaza through a community engagement process.