Philip Barash, MA

Philip Barash



Urban change and placemaking with experience in writing, visioning,
facilitation, program development, strategic partnerships, and institutional philanthropy


University of Chicago- Master of Arts in the Humanities

University of Detroit Mercy- Bachelor of Arts in Electronic Critique (currently Digital Media Studies)


UA 523- Skills and Techniques in Planning


Philip Barash, co-founder of Public Sphere Projects, is a community design and placemaking expert. He brings two decades of advising public, institutional, and real-estate clients on activating the public realm. He is a division vice-chair at the American Planning Association, and on the board of the International Downtown Association.

His urban planning and community design practice ( focuses on facilitating agencies, institutions, and community groups in transformative public interest projects. Over the years, he has been fortunate to work with the Chicago Architecture Center, the Obama Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, National Park Service, and other visionary clients in developing programmatic and planning strategies that foreground local assets and connect to communities of users. His work often builds on moments of emergence — hopeful times when new ideas are fluid, not yet channeled into familiar patterns. He launched the first-ever citywide festival celebrating community spaces in Chicago, established guiding principles for the development of the Obama Presidential Center, led an unprecedented planning effort for the iconic Charlestown Navy Yard, and envisioned a pilot philanthropic and policy initiative that supports inclusive public spaces across greater Boston.