PBJ Design considers itself to be a placemaking non-profit but how does that help describe the projects we do and the people that we work with? The projects we coordinate are all rooted in the arts and creative industries because we believe that collaborative public art installations and events have positive effects on the development of a community’s economy and social cohesion. Jane Jacobs and William Whyte would agree that creativity and collaboration are two key components to designing public spaces that will be loved and taken care of by the public. Both urban planning superstars advocated for public spaces that are interactive and comfortableRead More →

Tactical Urbanism aims to quickly improve an urban environment by changing physical elements or the programming of a space. Tactical urbanism projects use inexpensive and temporary materials to  show the public a vision for how urban areas can look and be used. The hope is that the public will like what they see and invest in making the project permanent to bring long-term benefits to the community.  Tactical urbanists are often individuals who want to provide solutions to common community problems like poor signage, lack of bike lanes, missing crosswalks, or visually unappealing areas. Some tactical urbanism techniques are illegal or considered graffiti because theyRead More →

Social Art is a concept used to describe public art that comments on a social issue with the hopes of generating positive change. Social Art, for short, can be used as a placemaking tool because public art that addresses social issues attract attention from the public and the media as they are usually bold and present taboo topics. The unique look and subject-matter of Social Art projects can revitalize underused public spaces by giving new meaning to the space.  An example of Social Art is the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s exhibit titled “FLOW: Can You See The River?”.  The city-wide project featured mirrors and largeRead More →

How do you inspire people to recycle or to drive below the speed limit? The typical approach is to launch awareness campaigns that pin-up posters on  ‘the importance of recycling’ or run commercials showing cars speeding in family neighbourhoods. Is this method really effective at changing society’s behaviours?  Volkswagen would argue that awareness campaigns are not effective. In 2009, Volkswagen launched a campaign called the “Fun Theory” which believes that the easiest way to change human behaviour is to make the activity more fun. Volkswagen launched five projects under the “Fun Theory” and all five sucessfully improved human behaviour in regards to exercise, littering, speedingRead More →

Public Piano On Halifax Waterfront

Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper is a placemaking and community design method that originates from the Project for Public Spaces, an organization based out of New York. It is a grassroots movement that leverages the lack of funding and resources that often exist for small-scale community projects. How are their projects done? Lighter projects are seasonal or one-day events that can also be called pop-up projects. A “lighter” project is flexible and temporary. Quicker projects have short timelines from brainstorming to implementation. They avoid the long bureaucratic approval processes and look for a variety of funders to create their vision. Cheaper projects explore private and public fundingRead More →