Telling the Story of Place: Branding for Public Spaces

Date: December 10, 2020
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Branding is about so much more than just a logo. Especially when it comes to public spaces, a brand is also about the experiences we offer, the stories we tell, and the details we sweat over. 

To celebrate the launch of Project for Public Spaces new brand, this panel brings together Laura Stein, an expert brand strategist from Bruce Mau Design with Peter Mullan and Wilma Sothern, two leaders from place management organizations that recently went through their own branding or rebranding processes. 

Join us for a discussion about why branding matters for public spaces, how to invite your community into a branding process before and after launch, and what it takes to bring a great public space brand to life—even on a budget.


Peter Mullan is the CEO of Waterloo Greenway in Austin, Texas, USA, where he recently oversaw the creation of a new award-winning brand strategy for the fledgling public space, in collaboration with Bruce Mau Design and the Austin community. Prior to his current role, Peter served as executive vice president of Friends of the High Line, where he directed the physical development of the world famous linear park.

Wilma Sothern is the longtime Vice President, Marketing, Central Atlanta Progress in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. While Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta underwent a placemaking transformation as part of the Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community program, Wilma oversaw the park’s rebranding, working with local creative firm My Friend’s Nephew.

Laura Stein is Partner, Chief Creative Officer at Bruce Mau Design in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she provides overall creative and strategic direction for the studio’s brand and design output. She has led some of BMD’s highest profile and most awarded initiatives including ASICS, ASICS Tiger, Sonos, OCAD University, and Hutchins Center at Harvard. BMD also recently worked with Project for Public Spaces to reimagine our visual identity.


Nate Storring is Co-Executive Director, Communications at Project for Public Spaces, where he recently led an organization-wide rebranding. Prior to his current role, Nate served as a core team member of the Bass Initiative on Innovation & Placemaking, a partnership with the Brookings Institution that investigated best practices for innovation districts. He also developed the program for Project for Public Spaces’ first and second International Placemaking Week conferences, held in Vancouver and Amsterdam, and in 2016, he co-edited Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs (Random House).