All-Season Cities Must Program Public Spaces Year Round

It is easier to program space in the summertime. The weather is great, people are looking for a reason to enjoy the outdoors and merchants open their doors and spill their goods onto the sidewalks.The kids are out of school and there are plenty of opportunities for parades and festivals. Energy is everywhere.

Don't Be This Guy

Don’t Be This Guy!

And, then… Winter Hits! It gets cold. In some places it even snows. Windows close, people bundle up and foot traffic around public spaces declines.

Oh the humanity.

Some places, however, refuse to give in to Mother Nature. They program amazing weather appropriate functions and find creative ways to make sure that public spaces are enjoyed year round. Some utilize special features- heated sidewalks, public fireplaces and temporary warming structures. Others look to provide winter specific programs- ice sculpture competitions, dog sledding races and holiday events. There are programs aimed at kids, too- tobogganing through downtown (a personal favorite), skating and outdoor learning experiences.

Be This Guy!

Be This Guy!

Programming space, when done correctly, is a 24/7/365 endeavor. It is important at all times of year and in all types of weather. For ideas on what to do in your community check out the following links:

The Winter Cities Institute

The Project for Public Spaces

The National Main Street Center