Importance Of Placemaking

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Kaela Chavez USP 189 Prof. Lewis TAKE HOME MIDTERM: Why Placemaking Matters What is placemaking? Why does it matter? What does the placemaking movement respond to (historical trends and current context)? The United States suffers from an epidemic of social isolationism and detachment, which is in part a result of the lack of neighborhood centers and monuments in both urban and rural environments. City Repair Guidebook explains how the lack of central community spaces is rooted in the grid pattern, which traces back to the creation of colonial settlements. Colonial settlements were planned in a way that emphasized efficiency and monetary gain, thus ignoring the importance of interaction between community members and the exchange of culture…show more content…
City Repair Guidebook defines placemaking as “the act of creating a shared vision”. This vision is rooted in the needs, resources, history, climate, and culture of the community involved. It is also important to note that while placemaking involves both the built environment (i.e. physical features such as seating, lighting, etc.) and a sense of community ownership and identity. Placemaking serves to bring the community together in the hope of the development of deeper, more trusting relationships that will create the momentum to spur change and find sustainable, community-oriented solutions to different issues and problems. These issues include food insecurity, lack of access to vital resources, and safety. As these issues are unfortunately deeply rooted in systemic hierarchies, placemaking serves to not only inspire the community as a whole, but also to grant individual community members the tools and the feeling of self-efficacy necessary to create…show more content…
While sustainable placemaking is designed to increase livability, efforts are often focused on bringing in cultural creatives, who have disposable incomes. This thus creates an equity deficit, which bolsters the divide and hierarchal structure that plagues many urban areas and neighborhoods, and often highlights a blindness within the placemaking movement to the intersectionality of community members different, daily experiences and histories. Therefore, an emphasis on sustainability and biophilia in the placemaking movement must include measures toward equity. This can be achieved through systemic changes and changes to the planning theory and practice that embrace the importance of cultural competency. Further, placemaking should incorporate the practice of place governance. Through place governance, community members are engaged, and interventions/programs are designed to meet the community’s specific needs at a given time, rather than implementing a project that is designed to promote a general benefit. Place governance heightens community ownership and responsibility, and equips community members with the self-efficacy and capacity to create change, whether it be economically, aesthetically, or socially. Placemaking thus is not a solution to problems, but a

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