Southwest Airlines Launches ‘Heart of the Community’ Program to Revitalize Public Spaces

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) has launched a “Heart of the Community” program to revitalize and activate public spaces in the heart of American cities. Southwest has partnered with Project for Public Spaces (PPS), the organization behind an innovative “Placemaking” movement that re-imagines public spaces as the heart of every community. Through its support to Placemaking, Southwest will reconnect people and places to generate social, environmental and economic benefits in communities across the country.

Southwest, along with PPS, will build upon the success of its pilot projects in Detroit and Providence in 2013 to extend the Heart of the Community program and support myriad public spaces through Placemaking projects in the years to come. Gary Kelly, Chairman, President, and CEO of Southwest Airlines, said that the company’s goal is to help connect people to what is most important in their lives. It includes places that bring people together and create a sense of belonging and a sense of community.

Fred Kent, Founder and President, PPS said that the multi-year commitment of Southwest Airlines to support the Placemaking movement is a breakout moment for them. The movement needs the backing of a company like Southwest to help support and empower local communities to re-imagine their own public spaces.

Last year, Southwest provided a gift to support a research white paper, “Places in the Making,” by the MIT Department of Urban Studies. The research revealed the potential of Placemaking to create connected, sustainable, healthy, and economically viable communities. It highlighted the positive impact of Placemaking on community building and empowerment and cited the need for public and private partnerships to advance the practice of Placemaking.

Southwest Airlines has remained steadfast in its commitment to connect people, empower local communities through its core business, environmental initiatives, charitable giving and community outreach. The new Heart of the Community program is a key part of the company’s larger socio-economic endeavors.

Source: 3BL Media

Image Credit: Flickr via Moyan_Brenn