COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space

Call for Proposals Now Open for Placemaking Week in Amsterdam

Mar 30, 2017
Dec 14, 2017
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

PPS—along with our partners Pakhuis de Zwijger, STIPO, "City at Eye Level," and Placemaking Plus—is pleased to announce that the Call for Proposals for Placemaking Week 2017 is officially open! Taking place October 11-14 in Amsterdam, this international gathering will attract planners, engineers, architects, educators, activists, artists and entrepreneurs from across the globe. We strongly encourage you to apply, as we are eager to showcase the diversity of the placemaking movement at this conference through our presenters, their work, and the variety of locations they represent.

The deadline to submit proposals is Friday April 28th, at 5:00pm.

This friendly Amsterdam plaza is an example of the kind of informal and spontaneous activity that contributes to making a place great | Photo by PPS

Placemaking Week 2017 will bring together activists and practitioners to share the stories, projects, and innovations that are making placemaking one of the most critical movements of the 21st century. With a young, creative population and a mix of informality and formality that can be felt on the street level, Amsterdam continues to be a leader in urban innovation and placemaking, making it the perfect setting for this gathering.

Despite the tremendous inspiration and innovation that the city continues to generate, however, Amsterdam also faces new challenges— challenges to which many cities can relate. For example, the city's rate of population growth and development is increasing at a rapid pace, and with that, the cost of living is becoming very high. But while growth and urban densification are sometimes perceived as threats to the quality of the city, if done well, they can also be positive forces that help create more healthy, equitable, and human-scale public spaces. Addressing such challenges and opportunities will be a core component of this global conference.

Highlighting issues that are specific to the context of Amsterdam and broadly applicable to cities worldwide, we are accepting proposals that showcase topics in the following focus areas:

1. Placemaking & Innovation

How can placemaking help accelerate economic development, incubate new products, services and ideas, and expand economic opportunity for all? Example topics could include: Placemaking in innovation districts; public spaces as incubators (e.g. public markets, Main Streets, arts & culture centers); high-tech-oriented public spaces (e.g. District Hall, The Frontier); place-based social and civic innovation; new observation tools for understanding economic and social interactions in public space; creative placemaking and community arts.

2. Equity, Health & Well-being

Health means more than just physical well-being for individuals. As we focus on making places more healthy, how can we also make them more safe, accessible, and inclusive? Example topics could include: City making initiatives; public space and local food systems (e.g. food deserts, community gardens and urban farming, public markets); income inequality and homelessness; intersections between public health and placemaking; accessibility and inclusivity in public spaces; the right to the city.

3. Streets as Places & Transportation

How can we design streets to be dynamic public spaces that can increase livability standards, provide multimodal travel options, and enhance the general health and well-being of the community? Example topics could include: Streets as places; Main Street development; shared space; walking, biking and active transportation; autonomous vehicles and the future of mobility.

4. Place-led Development

How can placemakers scale up their work with communities and public spaces while engaging the entire machinery of city building—from city planners and architects to communities and real estate developers? Example topics could include: governance reform and citizen engagement; “City at Eye Level,” the “human-scale” city and the architecture of place; the role of placemaking and public space in real estate development.

No, it's not Lego City ... it's Placemaking! Amsterdam Style | Photo via Hans Karssenberg

As Amsterdam becomes our urban laboratory for a week of learning and engagement, we hope you too will be inspired by the creative spirit of this city, and that its unique energy will infuse each of the events, workshops, and discussions throughout the week. But there are no great conferences without great presenters! We need your expertise, and we encourage you to submit a proposal. Come, be inspired, and share your knowledge and success stories about the latest topics and trends in placemaking!

For more detailed information on conference format and proposal guidelines, see the complete Call for Proposals here.

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COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space