Livability Solutions

Livability Solutions is a partnership of 5 leading non-profit organizations that was formed in 2011 by Project for Public Spaces to help communities achieve their livability, sustainability, placemaking and smart growth goals. Our signature project is the grant we received from U.S. EPA’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program through which Livability Solutions provided technical assistance to nearly 30 communities.

Our partners and people have:

  • On-the-ground experience leading technical assistance and capacity building at the local and regional levels;
  • Experience working in the public and private sectors;
  • Knowledge and expertise on the latest design standards, best practices, and tools; and
  • Personal commitments to creating more livable and sustainable neighborhoods, streets and public spaces.

Our capabilities, technical expertise, and connections create productive collaborations between sectors and gets results:

  • Communities have used our workshops and technical reports to secure additional grant funding from federal, state, MPO and private sources (example: Lee County, FL);
  • We have helped reframe transportation projects to facilitate active transportation and improve livability (example: Oak Park, MI); and
  • We have helped residents develop a new vision for their downtown and created accessible action plans that got results (example: Eldon, MO).

How can we help your community to achieve its placemaking, public engagement, sustainability and livability goals? Please browse our tools and case studies, or email us at with questions.


Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. The PPS Placemaking approach helps citizens transform their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

The Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) helps create vibrant and walkable cities, towns and neighborhoods where people have diverse choices for how they live, work, shop and get around. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

ChangeLab Solutions specializes in researching and drafting model laws and policies, providing analysis and recommendations on environmental change strategies, developing educational toolkits and fact sheets, and providing on-demand training and technical assistance to support stakeholders in their policy reform efforts.

The Local Government Commission (LGC) works to build livable communities and local leadership by connecting leaders via innovative programs and network opportunities, advancing policies through participation at the local and state level, and implementing solutions as a technical assistance provider and advisor to local jurisdictions. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

The mission of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute (WALC) is to inspire, teach, connect and support communities in their efforts to improve health and well-being through better built environments. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Key People

Gary Toth

Project for Public Spaces

Gary Toth, PPS’s Senior Director of Transportation Initiatives, is a nationally recognized leader in the field of livable transportation solutions. His more than 35 years of project management experience include a career at NJ Department of Transportation, where he helped to found the national Context Sensitive Solutions approach, pioneer strategies to coordinate land use and transportation, and build bridges between transportation engineers and communities.

Read more >

Lynn Richards

Congress for The New Urbanism

Lynn Richards, President and CEO of CNU, has worked with dozens of state and local governments to implement placemaking approaches by developing policies, urban design strategies, and environmental solutions for vibrant, prosperous neighborhoods. Through her previous work at U.S. EPA, she produced groundbreaking research on smart growth, water, and land use strategies, and as a Harvard Loeb Fellow, published research on suburban retrofit strategies.

Read more >

Paul Zygovsky

Local Government Commission

Paul Zykofsy manages LGC’s land use, transportation, community design and health programs, and has been Director of the Commission’s Center for Livable Communities since 1995. He is a frequent presenter at local, regional and national conferences on a wide range of topics related to land use, transportation and community design.

Read more >

Rio Holaday

ChangeLab Solutions

Rio Holaday is a senior policy analyst at ChangeLab Solutions, focusing on food access and childhood obesity. Prior to joining ChangeLab Solutions, she co-founded a social enterprise that made and sold healthy snacks in schools and corner stores, ran a city-funded healthy cart, and helped establish a Healthy Carts Association in Philadelphia. Rio has also conducted research on food buying behavior in food deserts. Before entering the food access world, she did Fulbright research on immigrants in South Africa and worked with resettled refugees in Vermont. Rio graduated from Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Read more >

Robert Ping

Walkable and Livable Communities Institute

Robert has focused nearly his entire career on getting people more active, especially children and youth, and especially on bicycles. Robert has become well-known throughout the country for his work in developing Safe Routes to School programs and policies. He helps communities and advocates to improve the built environment and increase safety, social equity, and physical activity through bicycling and walking.

Read more >