Townscape Publications

To stimulate a broader interest in place meaning and place making, The Townscape Institute fosters the development of educational publications: books and posters, exhibitions and videos that illustrate how buildings, spaces, and objects can reinforce identification with place. Publications have always been integral to The Townscape Institute's advocacy role. Below is a list of publications produced by The Townscape Institute, including publication details and a brief description of each work.

Note: For ordering information, see publisher details below. Used copies of out-of-print Townscape publications are often available through booksellers online, such as

NEW: The Art of Placemaking: Interpreting Community Through Public Art and Urban Design by Ronald Lee Fleming, Merrell Publishers, spring 2007. Building on the place-making strategies of earlier Place Makers books (see below), this new work contains case studies of public art and urban design projects that bolster a sense of place. It follows contemporary trends in public art, such as highway projects, mural town revitalization programs, gateways, and street furniture, along with careful analysis of policy and administrative issues. Hundreds of color plates illustrate the rich variety of place making endeavors around the US. This book is available through your favorite local bookstore, or online.
More information at Merrell Publishers

Saving Face: How Corporate Franchise Design Can Respect Community Identity shows how to encourage more compatible design of service station and fast-food in American cities and countryside. For more information on corporate visual responsibility, click here. American Planning Association, 1994, expanded 2nd edition 2002. APA PAS 503/504. Paperback (includes over 100 full color illustrations) $40.00
Order online at the APA website

Place Makers: Creating Public Art That Tells You Where You Are was co-authored by Ronald Lee Fleming and Renata von Tscharner. Place makers are works of public art and design that capture or reinforce the unique character of a site or space. The book presents case studies from across the United States - sculptures, murals, fountains, pavement inserts, and street furniture. In the often bleak urban landscape of concrete slabs and mirrored glass, in anonymous plazas, malls, and squares, place makers provide a human scale, restore a much needed sense of connection, and sometimes add a touch of humor.
Hardcover, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987, 2nd edition $29.95; Paperback, 2nd edition, $14.95, out of print; (1st ed, Hastings House, 1981, out of print). ISBN: 0-15-172013-2 (paperback)


Facade Stories: Changing Faces of Main Street Storefronts and How to Care for Them by Ronald Lee Fleming depicts the building fronts that line the business districts of American towns and records what happened to them over time. "Before and after" photographs show facades that have been preserved, restored, adapted, left as free-standing sculptures, reduced to fragments, or recalled as wall murals. The appendix, written with Nore V.Winter, illustrates how facades should be analyzed and maintained.
Hastings House, 1982 , paperback $13.50 (out of print). ISBN: 0-8038-2398-3


On Common Ground: Caring for Shared Land from Town Common to Urban Park by Ronald Lee Fleming and Lauri A. Halderman, is a practical book that examines the history of New England's common grazing lands as a basis for defining guidelines for their protection and enhancement. On Common Ground explores the original notion of a shared "proprietorship" - the guiding principle of the early village greens - in order to demonstrate how corporations, foundations, and community groups from New York to California can utilize this traditional concept for the design and management of new shared spaces.
Harvard Common Press, 1982 , hardcover $25.00 (out of print, available in hardcover and paperback for order from The Townscape Institute, contact for more information); paperback $12.95. ISBN: 0-916782-24-7

New Providence: A Changing Cityscape
is a full-color picture book documenting the physical evolution of a typical small American city between 1910 and 1987.
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987, hardcover $10.95 Preservation Press, 1992 Paperback $9.95. ISBN: 0-15-200540-4. For ordering information, contact Scott Foresman Publishers, 800-552-2259, fax 800-841-8939,

New Providence: Poster Series
Seven 12" x 33" full-color posters and an accompanying Viewers Guide depicting the evolution of New Providence, an imaginary city, from 1875-1990. A useful educational tool, the series looks at changes in architectural, economic, and social trends and how they have shaped the character of American cities.
Dale Seymour Publications, 1993, $36.95.
For ordering information, contact Scott Foresman Publishers, 800-552-2259, fax 800-841-8939,


Recent articles:

"Urban Planning & Public Art in Eugene, Oregon", excerpted from The Art of Place Making. Public Art Review, Spring 2005.

"Public Art for the Public: A History of Federal Funding", excerpted from The Art of Place Making. The Public Interest, Spring 2005.

"Reinventing an old idea", Street Furniture chapter excerpted from The Art of Place Making. Landscape Architecture Magazine, July 2004.

"Design Review Comes to My Garden," Planning Magazine, June 2004.

"Place Meaning Interpreted: Revisiting the past to reveal future choice", excerpted from The Art of Place Making, UC Berkeley and Pratt Institute's Places: A Forum of Environmental Design, Fall 2003, issue 16.1.

Three Gateway Case Studies, in Scenic Solutions, a CD-ROM published by Scenic America, September 2003.