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Public spaces advocate Ethan Kent speaks Friday

October 3, 2016

Ethan Kent
Ethan Kent, senior vice president of the nonprofit Project for Public Spaces, will conduct a workshop and a roundtable discussion about place-making Friday. Photo courtesy of Project for Public Spaces.

Ethan Kent, senior vice president of the nonprofit Project for Public Spaces will present a workshop at Virginia Tech on Friday from 9 to 11:15 a.m. in Room B of the Graduate Life Center, located at 155 Otey St.

Kent’s presentation, “Transforming Your City with Place-making,” is part of the Community Voices 2016 Fall Speakers Series. His presentation will be followed by a roundtable discussion from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the same location.

Lunch is available for $5 or attendees may bring their own. Both the workshop and the roundtable discussion are free and open to the public, but space is limited. RSVP to Regina Naff at regina50@vt.edu.

Kent has worked for more than 18 years to teach about, support, and promote place-making “as a transformative approach to economic development, environmentalism, transportation planning, governance, resilience, equity, and design,” according to the Project for Public Spaces website.

He has worked in more than 750 cities in 55 countries, helping localities, agencies, organizations, and citizens create public spaces.

The redesign of Times Square in New York City; Congress Square in Portland, Maine; and Kennedy Plaza, in Providence, Rhode Island, are among the projects on which he has worked.

Kent has worked with such corporations and agencies as Southwest Airlines, developing the “The Heart of the Community” program, and the National Endowment for the Arts, running its Citizens Institute on Rural Design.

He has written numerous publications and has been a featured speaker on place-making, sustainability, and community building at universities, conferences, and government- and nonprofit-sponsored events and workshops in the United States and across the globe.

Kent earned his bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and completed graduate studies at Antioch University’s Seattle Center for Creative Change in Environment and Community.

Kent will also present at the 2016 Cityworks Xpo in Roanoke, Virginia, Oct. 6-8.

Community Voices is an interdisciplinary group of Virginia Tech graduate students, faculty, and community representatives interested in exploring innovative approaches to community building and engagement. The group, affiliated with the School of Public and International Affairs' Institute for Policy and Governance, organizes a series of public talks by leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors who share their insights and experiences helping communities shape their futures. The speakers’ presentations, which include conversation with the audience, are free and open to the public.

For more information, interview requests, or if you need accommodations for the public presentation, please contact Andy Morikawa at the Institute for Policy and Governance at andymorikawa@vt.edu or 540-230-1492.

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