Adding Appeal to Portsmouth Public Spaces


Discussion at Portsmouth Library to Identify Locations and Priorities for Placemaking Project

We love Portsmouth, but there are still many ways to make our city even more appealing and walkable. On Wednesday, February 1 at 7 PM in the Portsmouth Public Library’s Levenson Room, PS21 with the assistance of landscape architect Robert White will lead a discussion on potential changes to four locations in the city: Market Square, Vaughan Mall, State Street and “Fat Belly Square” (the intersection of Market and Bow streets).

The event is the third PS21 event to focus on “placemaking” as a way to enhance walkability, retail life, traffic flow and social interaction. Last fall, PS21 sponsored a film and then a workshop on placemaking and how locations can be reinvented as unique and more appealing public spaces.

To follow up the fall sessions, Robert White will bring illustrations showing how Vaughn Mall, Market Square, State Street and Market Street might be transformed by some of the ideas generated. PS21 will lead a discussion, and participants will decide how to prioritize the suggestions and move forward.

Noted New England planner Jane Lafleur led the workshop last fall. She described placemaking as a process with community-based participation at its center, which capitalizes on a community’s assets, inspiration and potential, and results in the creation of quality public spaces that contribute to people’s health, happiness and well-being.

“Everyone has favorite places in the downtown area,” said Doug Roberts, chair of the volunteer group Portsmouth Smart Growth for the 21st Century (PS21). “Placemaking helps us learn why these places are pleasing, and how we can replicate their appeal.”

Please sign up at to help ensure sufficient seating. This event is free and open to the public, and presented by PS21 as part of its series to stimulate discussion about policy and planning issues affecting Portsmouth.

Save the date for the next PS21 event: Accessory Dwelling Units: What Are They and Why Build Them

Wednesday, February 22 at 7 PM at Portsmouth Public Library’s Levenson Room.

Ben Frost of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority will talk about ADUs and affordable housing in the state, and Rick Taintor from Portsmouth’s Planning Department will explain the ADU ordinance recently passed by City Council.

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