Pringle Creek excels at green building and environmental design, but what really catches your breath are the public spaces: the parks, the plaza, the open spaces, tree groves, community orchards, gardens and greenhouses. The places to meet a friend or read a book. The Urban Land Institute recognizes the importance of public spaces for economic development and long-term high-quality growth. Here is from an article on ULI’s website, “When Less is More: ULI Spring Council Forum Looks at Value of Public Realm in Creating Great Places.”

In another session related to use of the public realm, Richard E. Heapes, principal of Street-Works in White Plains, N.Y., discussed the benefits of strategically integrating public space with mixed-use development.

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Heapes outlined four principles involved in creating a successful development using public space: 1) recognize the importance of public space as filling in the missing “third place” for human interaction, along with the home and office; 2) use public space in a way that preserves and showcases authenticity and creates a sense of community; 3) provide software (activities, events) to encourage use of public space, but not program it or make it seem contrived; and 4) use public space to create public ownership and instill a sense of community pride. “The new mixed-use strategy is a master-planned (development) strategy,” he said.

This is great stuff–and Pringle Creek Community is implementing it at every level.