Placemaking Europe

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What is The Toolbox?

The Placemaking Europe Toolbox is a collection of curated placemaking resources – in the medium as digital tool manuals, or handbooks, open-source under the creative commons – for all to access, learn from, and practice. 

The Toolbox is integral to better placemaking.  At Placemaking Europe, we acknowledge the need for a common platform to share our public space resources that can be adaptable across contexts

We always give due credit to the originator, artists, and collaborators for their excellent work.

 

read more about adding or developing a tool yourself

Browse The Toolbox ...

Why an open source placemaking toolbox?

Throughout the years, via the City at Eye Level programme, Placemaking Weeks, Placemaking Week Europe, and other means, we have gathered and shared open source examples of successful city at eye level and placemaking projects.

One of the recurring question people asked us was: All those examples are great, but can you give us more knowledge about the tools behind these examples?

Since 2017 we have been working on a placemaking toolbox to share some of the secrets behind the case studies. During the  Cities for All – Stockholm  2018 conference, we asked the network to share some of their tools, resources, and guides.

This resulted in the booklet with interesting and practical tools.

Even though people appreciated the booklet, we still received similar feedback: people need more knowledge about how to use the tools, and we need the steps in a placemaking process and common themes that placemakers work on represented directly. 

This resulted in a fresh and ambitious plan for an open-source Placemaking Europe Toolbox. We were lucky enough to get help from JPI Urban Europe to start the PlaceCity project, in which we can work together with partners in Austria, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands, to speed up the process of building the toolbox, to test and improve the tools with cities and other partners. 

It is important that we bring together all our unique perspectives, and thus a wide variety of tools – as the placemaking processes encompasses many disciplines and topics from the moment of inception to completion and upkeep. 

We feel this open-source toolbox allows placemakers to work on projects and achieve their goals to make better places regardless of their background or previous experience.  These tool manuals have been developed by placemakers using them in practice across contextual applications- this is a huge opportunity for the network to understand how outcomes of public space tools can vary across cities and cultures. 

From this collection of resources, placemaking work is able to be locally relevant, while globally competitive with international and multidisciplinary inputs to support a robust process and strategy, and therefore, a successful and enduring place users want to keep coming back to. 

read more about building The Toolbox 

What are tools?

While tools are conventionally defined as a device to achieve a function, we understand tools, communicated as digital PDFs,  in The Toolbox as:

  • Based on practice – the tool has traveled beyond concept and has been put to use
  • Intuitive – easy to follow 
  • Hands on or practical
  • Replicable for others to try out too 
  • Helpful – a modular resource to meet a demand
  • Contains discrete steps to for future use
  • Unique and creative
  • The tool can absolutely be in your native language. We will assist as needed to include an ENG version of your tool for the wider network as well. 
 
 

Each tool in The Toolbox is communicated as a digital PDF manual, approximately 10 pages long and includes this information:

  • Title
  • Creator/tool owner credit 
  • Artists, collaborators, authors credits
  • Abstract
    • Why this tool was made?
    • What was the demand?
    • What is the goal by applying it?
    • Why should the readers use this tool?
  • Steps to apply the tool:
    • Preparatory steps
    • In joint tasks/collaborating tasks
    • During the intervention steps
    • Post/reflection/follow up steps
  • Links to learn more and connect with the creator and team
  • Images of the tool in action with image credits 
  • Checklist of necessary material (tangible and intangible)
    •  

Or check out this tool and manual example, created by Nabolagshager & Oslo Living Lab under  PlaceCity !

Untitled design (8)

Check out tools recently added to The Toolbox

Building an open source Placemaking Toolbox

We are building an open source placemaking toolbox, in which you can share your tools. We invite you to submit a tool you find relevant for this open source toolbox either championing another where we can reach out and connect with them, or your own that you would like to write a manual for. You can get in touch using the submit form below or via email.  

You can also test the tools and send us your feedback

The toolbox management group, chaired by the Board and Directors of Placemaking Europe, will guard the quality of the tools and manuals published on this site, will read and help edit the draft manuals. They will also help with using the feedback to improve the tools.

We plan to add as many manuals as we can ourselves, from our own books and practices, but also through writing manuals about some of the tools you suggest.

We made a list of categories we use to structure The Toolbox and thus list the tools under the appropriate topic. This helps placemakers identify which tools to use to meet the challenge or context at hand, while this also helps us understand which categories hold opportunities to fill gaps. 

Categories

Process Steps

  1. Get to know your community
  2. Engage your community
  3.  Take short term action 
  4.  Create better places
  5.  Bring great experiences to your streets
  6.  Develop areas with human scale
  7.  Make placemaking long lasting
  8.  Open up your municipal system
  9.  Secure funding for placemaking 

Themes

  • Be Inclusive
  • Connect to Heritage
  • Work with Children
  • Programme for the Seasons
  • Create a better climate
  • Create places for innovation
  • Create Happy & Healthy Communities
  • Work with Art & Culture

How can you use the placemaking toolbox?

You are free to use the open source toolbox, following the creative commons rules.

We are also eager to learn how your intervention went – any take away findings or lessons learned? Please share with us here!

Develop your tool

Want to turn your idea and amazing practice into a published tool manual?

We have created a light guide for you to follow along. 

Build and use your personalised toolbox mix with us.

Every situation needs a personalized toolbox. We can help you select the tools you need for your project and implement the tools with you. For more information contact us.

Raymond Landegent of Rotterdam leads a facade garden installation with the community. Read the tool – Facade Garden Manual here.

Submit your tool

Do you want to see your placemaking tool in The Toolbox for placemakers all over the world to learn from? We love new tools! If you have a suggestion for a placemaking tool, please submit your idea by filling out this form. 

If it is not in a PDF manual, do not worry! We can assist and support you as needed  to develop it into a digital manual.

Downloadable Manuals

We’d love to hear from you. Please reach out via the form above or join our social media platforms and newsletter – feel free to share as well!

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