Place Making explained

Place-making | Placemaking | Place Making – which is right?

There are many ways to describe place-making. So too are there various configurations. In the USA it is often expressed as one word – ‘placemaking’, in some places it is hyphenated – ‘place-making’, and in yet others it remains two separate words – ‘place making’. Some choose to captalise it and others use lower-case. Such is this dynamic and multi-disciplinary area of practice, and such the fluidity of the english language in a globally-connected world that that even the dictionaries don’t agree.

At Place Leaders we think that people should arrange the words in whatever way they feel works best for their context. For the purposes of this website the hyphenated version is mainly used, but the term will at times be expressed differently as there are many contributing voices in our growing network, and quotes will include the term as the author intended.

Towards a definition

Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia that attempts a definition of place-making. It focuses on public spaces within cities, although it should be understood that Place Leaders apply place-making principles and approaches equally to a city as a whole place or to a precinct within a city, or a country town – or even a distinct geographic region.

“Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Placemaking capitalises on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, ultimately creating good public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well being. Place-making is both a process and a philosophy.

The concepts behind Placemaking originated in the 1960s, when writers like Jane Jacobs and William H. Whyte offered ground-breaking ideas about designing cities that catered to people, not just to cars and shopping centres. Their work focused on the importance of lively neighbourhoods and inviting public spaces. Jane Jacobs advocated citizen ownership of streets through the now-famous idea of “eyes on the street.” William H. Whyte emphasised essential elements for creating social life in public spaces.

Placemaking is a term that began to be used in the 1970s by architects and planners to describe the process of creating squares, plazas, parks, streets and waterfronts that will attract people because they are pleasurable or interesting. Landscape often plays an important role in the design process”.
From wikipedia.