Making Placemaking Fun
"I had the pleasure of presenting at the New Partners for Smart Growth conference last week in Kansas City, Missouri with Nathan Norris, Chad Emerson and Eliza Harris. Nathan assembled an entertaining panel (100 points to anyone who can identify the former Broadway star) to present the top 20 municipal placemaking mistakes. As we debated exactly what those top 20 were going to be, a lot of the usual suspects emerged — giving away connectivity, failure to provide resources for implementation, lack of a meaningful vision, ill-suited codes, and a host of others — all pointing to ill-advised actions or techniques. But what the discussion danced around was the software of the process: the personal leadership role of staff, advocates and elected officials."
Decatur GA Planning Director, Amanda Thompson, goes on to talk about how they've made planning work in their city. It partly has to do with changing their corporate culture from "No, because..." to "Yes, if..." And it partly has to do with making placemaking fun and entertaining. And to prove her points, Ms. Thompson puts on her dancing shoes and produces a video on planning mistakes. But don't worry, as well as Planning Director, she's also a professional dancer. You've definitely never seen this one before.