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Placemaking 101

Placemaking is an ongoing, collaborative process that fosters a greater sense of place within a community. It capitalizes on the strengths of an area to create worthwhile places where people of all ages and abilities can live, work, and play.

Types of Placemaking

The following are definitions of the different types of placemaking that communities can implement.

Standard Placemaking
Often just called “placemaking,” this is the universal term for the process of creating places where people want to live, work, and play. Usually, this process consists of a series of small projects and/or activities that engage and empower people while improving the quality of a place over a period of time.

Creative Placemaking
In this type of placemaking, “…the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region is shaped around arts and cultural activities. Creative Placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired."

Strategic Placemaking
This type of placemaking focuses on long-term neighborhood projects in order to achieve a particular goal. This goal is usually to attract and retain more talented workers, and so projects are often implemented in targeted centers (downtowns), and spaces along key corridors in transect locations with dense urban populations.

Tactical Placemaking
This term describes the process of creating quality places through small projects and short-term activities. These projects are often temporary, low-cost, planned in phases, and take place in public spaces, such as plazas and sidewalks, where risk is low but rewards are high.