Participation Makes for Successful Placemaking

In a compelling entry into the public dialog around placemaking, Project for Public Spaces argues that people, rather than merely places, create vibrancy in a community.

1 minute read

March 8, 2013, 6:00 AM PST

By boramici


As it gears up for the first meeting of the Placemaking Leadership Council in Detroit from April 11-12, planning nonprofit Project for Public Spaces (PPS) has come out with an article clarifying the connection between placemaking and gentrification, the essential elements of a successful placemaking process, and the potential pitfalls of "creative placemaking."

One topic the article tackles is the the rise of the “creative” modifier in the debate around placemaking. Based on a misinterpretation of Richard Florida's Rise of the Creative Class, argues PPS, creative placemaking shifts the emphasis from inclusiveness to exclusivity and competition. Rather than treating cities and neighborhoods as already existing communities, the pitfall of this kind of placemaking is the assumption of a tabula rasa urban condition open to importing community members and economic drivers and causing gentrification. It can also put cities in competition with one another to attract and retain a creative workforce rather than focusing on improving local resources.

While identifying the typical markers of vibrancy as active art and music scenes and plenty of restaurants, PPS argues that ultimately "people are vibrancy" and that the most important provision of placemaking is a forum for ongoing community conversations, not simply the best place to have gelato.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 in Sustainable Cities Collective

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Google office building in Virginia.

Virginia Data Centers Draining State’s Water Supply

Being the world’s largest data center hub is having a severe impact on local water resources.

May 9, 2024 - Grist

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state.

Northwest Power Demand Could Surge as Data Centers, Transportation Electrification Ramps Up

New estimates project a steady increase in electricity demand due to population growth, data centers, and the shift to electric power in homes, buildings, and transportation.

May 17 - Governing

Blurred traffic speeding by on freeway with Los Angeles skyline in background.

California Testing Per-Mile Gas Tax Alternatives

A summer pilot program will test the fairness and efficacy of collection mechanisms for mileage-based fee options.

May 17 - Newsweek

Close-up of 'Pay rent' note in red marker on day 1 of monthly calendar.

After Months of Decreases, Rents Nationwide Are Going Up

Average rents rose by $12 around the country so far this year.

May 17 - Smart Cities Dive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.