Lessons Learned: Five Principles of People and Place

Employing material gathered for his forthcoming book, Chuck Wolfe argues for layered, historical illustrations of how people relate to built and sociocultural communities around them, and offers 5 principles and companion lessons for placemaking.


Jumping from Portugal to Malta, then across the world to Australia, and back to Seattle, Wolfe shows images and crafts guidance premised on observing how people relate to urban environments.  

Examples include Lisbon's "instinctual urbanism that avoids much analysis, circumventing the brain for a direct hit on the soul," Malta's "cities where the cycles of human history is readily experienced  in little more than one day," and an Australian company town.

From these examples, he suggests principles and lessons of authenticity, the power of observation and human adaptibility to changing climate and new urban icons, all aimed as useful tools for practice and inspiration for remaking cities.

Wolfe concludes:

In summary,the five principles and lessons presented here are starting points for discussion, debate and potential conversion.  I believe ongoing vetting of such principles and underlying examples– if discerned and discussed with care–is a remarkable toolbox, adaptable in context across space and time.

Full Story: What Can We Learn from Five Principles of People and Place


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95