Four Steps of Creative Placemaking
Urban densifcation behooves a need for ample parks and places of refuge to counter the stressors of city life. Otherwise known as the public living room, these places provide space for people to socialize and gather with other members of their community.
Despite the pressing need for public space, if these sites are left unattended or abandoned, they can perpetuate danger and inequality. To combat this, many grassroots community projects have taken back derelict public spaces through arts-based initiatives, now known as placemaking. The success of these public spaces coupled with a pedagogical shift towards a greater appreciation for arts has established the realm of creative placemaking as a professional industry. Creative Placemaking can be described as:
a cooperative, community-based process that uses art and cultural expression to create or rejuvenate parks and open spaces, thus deepening a sense of place and inspiring community pride. (The Field Guide for Parks and Creative Placemaking)
Creative Placemaking Field Guide
The Trust for Public Land and City Parks Alliance have partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts to release a Field Guide for Parks and Creative Placemaking. The Field Guide is geared towards those familiar with placemaking practices who may not have the whole story, or the tool kit to carry out projects themselves. The guide is rich with resources and examples, coupled with informative information on the field, such as the four steps of creative placemaking:
Four Steps of Creative Placemaking:
- Define a community based on geography such as a block, neighborhood, city, or region
While the area can vary in scale it is important to take into account all the people who live in the area and their historical, cultural, and political identities
- Articulate a change the group would like to see
Address the goals and outcomes that the identified group would like to see within the defined geography. This change should be defined by those who will directly feel its effects and should be something addressable through placemaking.
- Propose an arts-based intervention
Develop an arts-based strategy that will leverage the unique abilities of an artist to translate complex issues and reimagine reality through an artistic medium.
- Develop a way to know whether change has occurred or not
Have a clear way of measuring the impact of the creative placemaking project. It is important to identify the evaluation methods at the onset, so you can identify what modifications may need to occur throughout the project
Image by Nick Falbo via Flickr.