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Creative Placemaking for Vibrant Communities

Cities all over the world are getting more and more creative with their public spaces that bring art, culture and history together. Big or small, thoughtfully planned public spaces have a unique power to make people engage, think and even shift their perspectives. As the impact of creative placemaking and public spaces continues to grow, cities of all sizes understand the benefits of investing in deliberate planning for these special areas. Research into public spaces has shown that the benefits stretch from the economic to the social, which encourages cities to continue investing in their maintenance and creation.

With so many spaces ready for change, cities and community organizations have an opportunity to transform everything from abandoned lots to crosswalks to parks into people-focused spaces that everyone will enjoy. More than that, it can give community members a real sense of identity and engage them in the continued success of their neighborhoods.

Creative, engaging public spaces can do so much to revitalize a community or even a whole city, to the economic benefit of everyone involved. Their development and creation attract talent and skilled workers, and afterwards, a newly regenerated space can encourage shops and other businesses to open and new people to move in. The connections fostered by public spaces, like the ones between community members and policy makers, or artists and local businesses, have long-term benefits that keep people engaged in making their homes a unique place to live.

The social aspect of public spaces is far-reaching as well. by reaching out to different segments of the population, public spaces can shine new light on lesser-known experiences and stories. Seen through the lens of different cultures and perspectives, the many facets of a city’s history, as well as the lives of those who live in it, can be brought to light in new, more inclusive ways.

Thoughtful public spaces are not only beneficial for the locals, either. More and more, permanent and pop-up public spaces are turns ordinary cities into destinations. Having engaging installations all around the city is a fun way to encourage visitors to explore new neighborhoods and encouraging tourists to explore beyond the usual stops means more support for local businesses!

But one of the best parts of creative public spaces, in our minds, if how much beauty and joy they bring to everyday life. They become sites for colorful art installations, activities, entertainment, family events, and so much more. Think of a parking lot turned into a park or market, or a section of city street transformed by public art- it takes something dull and mundane and turns it into a multi-faceted experience. The joy of finding color and creativity in unexpected places has a positive effect on our moods and serves to elevate everyday experiences in urban areas.

It’s amazing how a public space, no matter what the size, can inspire a community. By transforming unused places or revitalizing spaces to better suit the needs and voice of a community, people feel more engaged with and more connected to where they live and people they live with. New connections and new ideas start to flow, and projects grow from the minds of those who are truly invested in making neighborhoods, towns and cities a better place for all.

People from different cultures, backgrounds and demographics are provided with spaces that help them better enjoy their neighborhoods and can feel proud to be part of community that cares. It might even inspire them to develop their own projects!


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