September, 2024

Creating better
cities together

Early bird tickets available!

Open Call

Please help us build inspiring programme tracks for this year’s themes!

As with every edition, this year’s Placemaking Week Europe festival builds much of its programme drawing from open source submissions from global placemakers that we receive through our Open Call form.

Do you have workshop ideas, relevant projects, wisdom to share, or other programme proposals?

Submit to our Open Call!

Hosting city

Our hosting city for this year’s edition is Rotterdam, Netherlands!

Rotterdam is a bold, forward, and dynamic city in the Netherlands. It is Europe’s largest seaport and home to people from all corners of the world. Time and time again, the city has had to forge its own path and collectively build – from rebellious creatives to legislators, and from neighborhood leaders to project developers. Everyone has played their part in creating the current vibrant city.

Rotterdam is in a constant flux, with a changing harbor, ongoing urban transformations, a growing emphasis on individual expression, and residents with evolving needs. There is also a growing call for a more balanced relationship with water, nature, and addressing climate change. This all leads to a competition for public space and a demand for an innovative and flexible approach to create spaces where people feel a sense of belonging. That is why Rotterdam is working hard to support, protect and utilize placemaking and placemakers for society and the economy.

This edition was amazing!

The themes

Placemaking Europe explores transversal topics like gender, multigenerational places, place-based economic development, technology and smart cities, inclusive prosperity, creative bureaucracy, arts and culture, and more. This year’s festival will explore 4 overarching themes that correlate with these approaches to placemaking, as well as with the city of Rotterdam’s distinct placemaking initiatives and goals:

Placemaking isn’t just about temporary interventions; it aims for lasting impact for a more inclusive, resilient, and dynamic urban environment. We invite you to contribute to the discussion on how to acknowledge, define and ensure placemaking within the systemic reality. How can we leverage and integrate the city’s cultural capital into the urban development processes? And how can we achieve sustainable collaborations with the people who are the DNA of a place? Within this theme, we explore the importance of diverse perspectives and communities in shaping the city. We delve into the power of crossovers to come up with fresh and innovative solutions, ranging from experiments and temporary initiatives to long-term transformation.

Placemaking provides opportunities to enhance the resilience of communities and cities against the impact of climate change, such as heavy rainfall, sea level rise, flooding, drought, land subsidence, and heatwaves. Placemaking can bridge the gap to involve inhabitants and visitors in these transition challenges and encourage them to take collective action in numerous ways, sustaining it over time. Within this theme, we explore solutions for establishing a balanced relationship with nature, climate inclusivity and the use of climate actions to achieve broader social and physical goals. We are curious about nature-based or regenerative placemaking practices that create greener, healthier, and more resilient environments for humans and biodiversity.

The function of waterfronts has changed over the years, as has the approach and utilisation of these spaces. This theme explores the dynamic relationship between urban environments and waterways, transcending traditional notions of waterfront development. Waterfront placemaking celebrates the natural ebb and flow of the coexistence between urban life and water. We delve into the local stories from past and present, and investigate how local heroes and innovators can develop these areas into vibrant, inclusive, and accessible spaces that build upon the accumulated value. Through these urban narratives, we explore how to enrich waterfronts and in what ways placemaking can contribute to creating connection and awareness around water among our urban residents.

Within this theme, we embrace the powers that make cities thrive, including creatives, artists, community builders, social programmers and everyday individuals. Anyone can be a placemaking hero, and local initiators are incredibly important players in strengthening their ecosystem. Despite often operating without official recognition or financial support, they shape the true identity of a place. Meanwhile-spaces for arts, culture, and community are vital for solidarity, self-expression, and resilience, and contribute greatly to the spirit of a place. Under this theme, we delve into the stories and needs to allow the transformative potential of the placemaking landscape to flourish. We’ll explore how these sometimes overlooked forces can be cherished, and how the continuity of these powers is not only important but essential for fostering vibrant, innovative, and inclusive cities.

The speakers

Keilepand is our home base in Rotterdam!

The city

Rotterdam is known for its harbor, lively cultural life, modern architecture and… placemaking. The extensive distribution system including rail, roads, and waterways have earned Rotterdam the nicknames “Gateway to Europe” and “Gateway to the World.”

The city’s nightlife is filled with diversity. Glamorous cocktail bars and classic pubs, hip and happening dance clubs and intimate concert venues. Rotterdam also has a varied architectural landscape, including skyscrapers designed by architects such as Rem Koolhaas, Piet Blom and Ben van Berkel.

Rotterdam exhibits impressive examples of placemaking and sets a stage for a future of initiatives that cater to diverse groups and that address complex issues across various topics in the city.

In Rotterdam, during Placemaking Week Europe 2024, you can explore the hidden forces in placemaking and aspects of the process that are vital for innovation. Engage in inventive thinking and explore how this can contribute to making your city a more inclusive, resilient, and dynamic urban environment.

In this quest we team up with local heroes who sometimes navigate beyond existing power structures to create a sense of place. Next to that we invite you to join the discussion on how to acknowledge and ensure placemaking in the systemic reality.

Join us in Rotterdam, let’s create space to make a lasting place!

Check out the last edition!

Placemaking Week Europe 2023 in Strasbourg was an exploratory and exciting week in one of Europe’s most renowned and interesting border cities. Learn more here!





24th — 27th


September, 2024

Creating better
cities together

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