Elena Madison is an urban planner with rich experience in the planning and design of parks, plazas, campuses, and the outdoor spaces of civic and cultural institutions. A Vice President at Project for Public Spaces, Elena is a veteran of Place making and loves working with people in communities to create great public spaces. She is a dedicated practitioner of collaboration in all aspects of her work from visioning and concept development, to programming, implementation and management.
Elena directs Heart of the Community, a Place making grants and technical assistance program supported by Southwest Airlines, now entering its sixth year with close to 20 implemented projects around the United States, including the“Beach” at Detroit’s Campus Martius Park, the revitalization of Travis Park in downtown San Antonio, improvements to Philadelphia’s City Hall Courtyard, and new amenities in downtown Atlanta’s Woodruff Park. She is currently working on concept designs for Oklahoma City’s Kerr Park, and on a public space plan for a new neighborhood park in downtown Houston. Elena is skilled at bringing Place making to communities by focusing on their assets and engaging local institutions, and is also leading a Place making Pilot program working with cultural and community institutions in Detroit.
In addition, Elena is spear heading PPS’ international training and technical assistance for Central and Eastern Europe focused on building local knowledge and capacity. She is engaged with Place making partners in many countries throughout the region including her native Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Serbia, Kosovo and most recently Russia. Elena holds a Masters of Urban Planning degree from Hunter College and a BA in Urban Affairs from the College of Mount St. Vincent.