by Project for Public Spaces

A visualization of the Power of 10+ concept, using the example of  New York City and Bryant Park.

The Power of 10+ is a concept Project for Public Spaces developed to evaluate and facilitate placemaking at multiple city scales. It is a powerful tool for generating constructive conversations to identify targeted placemaking efforts.

Cities succeed or fail at the human scale—the place scale—and this scale is often overlooked. The Power of 10+ shows how paying attention to the human experience when building a city’s destinations and districts can have immediate and widespread impacts.

The idea behind this concept is that places thrive when users have a range of reasons (10+) to be there. These might include a place to sit, playgrounds to enjoy, art to touch, music to hear, food to eat, history to experience, and people to meet.

Ideally, some of these activities will be unique to that particular place, reflecting the culture and history of the surrounding community. Local residents who use this space most regularly will be the best source of ideas for which uses will work best.

Further, when cities contain at least 10 of these destinations or districts, their public perception begins to shift amongst both locals and tourists, and urban centres can become better equipped for generating resilience and innovation.

Melbourne, Australia. The layering of activities generated by the Power of 10+ model ensures that no single type of use or user dominates the space.

We have found that whenever we introduce this idea to a community, citizens quickly become more motivated to turn their places around. The Power of 10+ offers an easy framework that encourages residents and stakeholders to revitalise urban life, and it shows big things can be accomplished by starting at the smallest scale. The concept also gives people incremental and tangible goals, and it helps them to visualise, and collectively work towards, a truly great end result.

It is the role of placemakers to encourage everyone to think about what’s special in their communities. How many quality places are located nearby, and how are they connected? Are there places that should be recognised but aren’t? Answering these questions can help residents and stakeholders determine where they need to focus their energies, both individually and collectively.

Read more: The Origin of the Power of 10.