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Cambridge Public Space Lab

The Cambridge Public Space Lab is a testing ground for intentional community building. It seeks to cultivate inclusive and participatory public spaces using a spirit of partnership, experimentation, and collective learning.

Highlighted Projects

A photo of young people playing on a city street. In the foreground one young person is playing with colorful blocks on a folding table.

Play Streets

Transform your residential street into a place for play. Play Streets is new program to temporarily close streets to car traffic and transform them into places for play, learning, and fun.

Learn More

Other Projects Around the City

Cloud House


CloudHouse is a temporary pavilion that provides shade and seating in an active recreational area to reduce the impacts of extreme heat. The pavilion provides flexible seating and an open form that invites people to socialize, rest, and enjoy a favorite neighborhood park!

Learn More
Palmer Street Cambridge

Palmer Steet

Palmer Street is getting a makeover! In an effort to transform this Harvard Square alley into a more active and welcoming public space, the City is introducing colorful tables and chairs, playful magnetic poetry boards, a public piano, plantings, and an artistic canopy.

Family using public patio

Public Patios

Check out Inman Square’s new Public Patios located between Springfield and Prospect Streets. These colorful spaces feature public seating and playful elements, including a public piano, a Little Free Craft Supply Library, and “craftivities” hosted in collaboration with local businesses.

Out There in Cambridge

How could a Cambridge public space come to life?

Park Your Idea Here


Play in the Public Realm

Playful places are ones that people are attracted to and want to return to again and again. This guidebook suggests ways that public spaces can be more playful, engaging, and welcoming to all.

Healthy Parks and Playgrounds

The Healthy Parks and Playgrounds report includes recommendations for how future open space design and programming can engage children and adults of all ages in free, healthy play.

Outdoor Dining During COVID-19

During COVID-19, the City of Cambridge implemented a process for businesses to temporarily extend their licensed premises to outdoor areas. The City developed design guidelines and a lookbook to provide parameters and ideas for businesses looking to establish successful outdoor dining areas.

In November 2021, the City produced updated outdoor dining design guidelines that incorporate lessons learned from the initial round of licensed outdoor areas.


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