The “public realm” consists of the places in-between the buildings and the areas connecting our destinations. It is where we spend our time moving from place to place, our time of leisure, and often our time of informality. Public realm is for the public and should be reflective of the public’s desire for safe places with an identity and conducive for use. The establishment, improvement, and maintenance of the public realm requires public and private partnerships and shared responsibility.
The ULI Orange County/Inland Empire District Council has identified the public realm as an area to focus on with leadership, education, and outreach, and as a result, the District Council has created the Public Realm Initiative Council (PRIC). The PRIC is made up a diverse group of professionals ranging from master planners, developers, public agency representatives, policy analysts, and persons interested in the rehabilitation of some of our infrastructure. The group hosts a solid amount of expertise and a shared motive: to make the public spaces that surround us more livable.
On December 3rd, the PRIC had its first meeting where the intent of the council was established and the council members shared their passions and reasons for engagement in. The room was full of enthusiasm. Everyone was eager to collaborate and explore solutions to improve upon the public realm in our region. Presentations included a synopsis of our current auto-centric conditions, a survey report of the community’s desires for a more livable environment, and potential solutions to build upon the existing environment and respond to the demands of the users. The resulting discussion was inviting, innovative, and collaborative in nature. PRIC members look forward to discussing and creating a framework for strategy and implementation.
Submitted by Audrey Young, ULI Student Member and PRIC Member