Placemaking is an approach to urban planning and design that focuses on the people who use a space, rather than just the physical structures or buildings. The idea is to create places that are not just functional, but also beautiful and meaningful to the people who live, work, and play there.
Effectively, it is the processes by which a community and its advocates turn any space into a place.
The process of Placemaking
The process of placemaking often involves collaboration between a variety of stakeholders, including community members, local government officials, business owners, and urban planners. Through this collaborative process, the needs and desires of the community can be taken into account, and the resulting public space can be tailored to meet those needs.
Placemaking can take many different forms, depending on the specific needs and goals of a community. Some examples of placemaking projects might include creating public art installations, adding seating or lighting to a park or plaza, or organizing community events such as concerts, farmers markets, or festivals.
Ultimately, the goal of placemaking is to create public spaces that are not just functional, but also foster a sense of community and social connection. By creating places that people want to spend time in, placemaking can help to improve the quality of life in a neighborhood or city, and create a stronger sense of belonging and connection among its residents.
Project for Public Spaces (Pps.org) explains it well when they tell us that “when you focus on place, you do everything differently… Common problems like traffic-dominated streets, little-used parks, and isolated or underperforming development projects can be addressed—or altogether avoided—by embracing a model of placemaking that views a place in its entirety, rather than zeroing in on isolated components.”