Charlot Schans is an urban sociologist and anthropologist by training, with years of experience in developing and coordinating international networks, events and projects in the field of urban development and social innovation. Her work starts from the understanding that the most livable, sustainable and equitable cities around the globe are the result of effective co-creation between a variety of stakeholders. She is fascinated by processes that enhance collaborative city-making, cross-cutting barriers between disciplinary silos and public and private domains. In her current position as advisor at STIPO she translates this vision into longterm projects in the field of area and real estate development, placemaking and urban regeneration, co-creating better cities and places with innovative partners and professional friends. She loves to explore and work in cities around the Netherlands, Europe and the world, but equally enjoys to return from those endeavors, to her hometown Amsterdam.
I was honored to co-organize the Placemaking Weeks in Amsterdam (2017) and Valencia (2019), working with amazing teams to gather hundreds of placemakers from all over the world to exchange know-how and experience on the emerging profession. It’s amazing to be able to connect so many talented people, motivated to advance more human scale cities through placemaking. As it goes with people pioneering in their field, it’s refreshing to step out of local projects sometimes, to work with likeminded peers for a few days. There’s so much to learn from others best practices, especially if you get to understand how they overcome challenges. Placemaking is tough sometimes, as you’re changing the system one movable chair at the time, and it’s very encouraging to know you’re not alone. It’s a movement, and more and more people are jumping on the band wagon. To be part of that, and being able to play my part in helping to advance it, feels super rewarding. With the co-creative process of organizing a Placemaking Week we always aim to have a lasting impact on the hosting city or cities, as well as build longterm collaborations between our network partners. These are among the fruits of the hard work I enjoy most.