WHAT IS PLACEMAKING?
Public spaces are often underutilized (alleys, vacant lots, side streets) or not successfully performing their intended services (crosswalks, intersections, sidewalks, etc.)
Placemaking is a concept that can aid communities in thinking about how public spaces can benefit all users. It encourages questions about how/if a space is working as it is, or if it can be improved through creative ways to benefit more people. Alleys do not need to be deadzones between buildings, vacant lots do not have to sit until they are developed, side streets are not just for parking and travel. Crosswalks and intersections can be re-imagined to more safely and successfully support multi-modal forms of travel. Improved intersections can snap drivers out of their tunnel vision to acknowledge the family or bicyclist crossing the street in front of them. Creative bump outs at crosswalks can aid visibility for both pedestrians and drivers for safer and more present travel. Alleys can become a quiet, peaceful nook with places to sit, contemplate, read or chat with a friend, just adjacent to a bustling street.
Placemaking projects can be cost effective, experimental, create community engagement, offer a nod to a city's past and they can be temporary. These projects are a way to help a community imagine their piece of the world, their built environment, as they would like it to be. Will more flowers and shade trees make the pedestrian experience that much better? Will bicycle lanes on wide streets slow car travel, making everyone safer? Can the beautification of everyday objects, such as light posts, traffic signal control boxes and street benches enhance an ailing downtown? What does the community want for itself and how can they work together to make positive, lasting change? Community engagement is the pillar placemaking. These projects are created for the community and are anchored by the support of the community.
Our dream is to beautify our city through color, community engagement, and innovation.