Placemaking is a relatively new term but it reflects a traditional and conventional concept. It is an old idea made new again. Placemaking is simply a way of creating a place in a community where people want to visit and be. These places are welcoming, safe, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, usable, accessible and invite interaction. Placemaking is where a space is turned into a place where residents, and others, can connect with each other to meet, greet, gather, and come together as a community. A space becomes a place when there is a reason to go there.
Think of all the empty, vacant, unsafe, dysfunctional, uninviting, underused lots, squares, plazas, parks, bus stops, sidewalks, streets and waterfronts in your community. More than likely, they are avoided, bypassed and ignored. Placemaking can turn them around.
Placemaking is beneficial to a community. It can foster healthier, more social, and economically viable communities. Placemaking creates the kind of places where people feel a strong stake in their communities and a commitment to making things better.
When a vacant, unused or underused property is made useful again and encourages people to congregate in the space, it will help to support the neighborhood economy. It may help to reduce crime as more people will be visible and out and about.
Creating a place in one area may help to catalyze private investment and small-scale entrepreneurial activities in others areas in the surrounding community. As a place becomes desirable, properties around the place increase in value.
Great places draw an ethnically, culturally and socially diverse population. A great place creates a sense of pride among residents and inspires them to do more.