Written by Fiona Miller
Placemaking is a multi-layered approach to the planning, design and organisation of public spaces. Placemaking focusses on the broad spectrum of all local community assets. It creates places and spaces that promote connection, good health and wellbeing and can bring happiness.
Good Placemaking is:
- Community driven and collaborative
- Relevant to the community
- About process and philosophy
- Underpinned by beliefs, culture and traditions
- About interactions and “bumping Places”
- Multi-generational – for all
- What is a place? Understanding the purpose of PLACE and the local use and identity of PLACE.
- Who is it for? Is it for a certain demographic, community, gender, is it age appropriate, accessible?
- Why is happening? An idea grown from community or supporters of it? Identified need or gap? Has it come from another project or is it a tool to create a project and conversation? Time frames and timing? Grants and funding opportunities?
- Who is going to contribute? Will people be paid facilitators and leaders? Local champions, community members and groups, organisations, philanthropic, governments and educators. Who else is welcome to contribute?
- Who is going to maintain it? Community – how will they be supported and connected? Will they have training and shared ownership and how will roles be determined?
- Is there ownership? Defining the roles of ownership and what it looks like. Land Council, Local Government. Conflict resolution strategy – who and how?
- What are the resources? What is available locally? What is recyclable and reusable in the local area? Is there a style, colour, technique, theme that determines resources? Is there financial assistance for physical resources or for training? Is there a local champion who can teach a technique or contribute to development, collection and distribution of resources?
- What are you creating? A building, a park, a seat, a community garden, public art space, an exhibition, a gathering space, a food bank, a trading place, a men’s shed, a community event, a facebook/social network,
- How will you know the outcomes and success of the PLACE and how will you harvest that? A formula, a metric, Photographs, stories, social media, YouTube, feedback? KISS! RBA – Theory-What we did-what we learnt- what others said-how we did it
- Place is people, without people there is no place, no belonging, no stories and no conversations for collaboration. Place is in my heart. Place is on my grandparent’s porch, my local café and my online tribe. Where is your place?
These are just a few things I think about when we talk PLACE MAKING. I listen, have conversations, take photos, collect magazine articles and keep a visual diary full of ideas and stories.
Resources to look at that I use, there are great images online for any project you are thinking, but sometimes it is best to just walk around with your eyes open and see things as they are.
Books “The case for healthy places, Streets as places”
David Engwicht – Australian Urban designs,
Wendell Berry – author of interesting reads that support place