The Placemaking process helps leaders to identify stakeholders and partners, broaden community involvement and leverage local assets. It identifies uses and activities for the park that are specific to the site and neighborhood, and ensures that traffic and other access issues are designed to benefit all users.  Stewardship, community pride and a variety of uses, funding sources and volunteers are stressed as outcomes.

Evaluation of Current Use and Perceptions: Where a park already exists, the Placemaking process begins by using a variety of observation and interview tools to develop a clear understanding of how people are using the park now. Observations of use are conducted at different times of day and week, and surveys, targeted interviews,and stakeholder meetings are used to measure perceptions about the park.

Creation of a common vision for the park through a Placemaking Workshop: This workshop is used to obtain the input of a broad representation of community members and stakeholders around the park.

Development of a program and concept plan for the activities and uses in the park: The ideas concerning the activities and uses that are generated in the workshop are used to develop a written program and to guide the development of an activity plan and management strategy for the park.

The program must be carefully thought out to create compelling destinations. Any great park has a variety of “places” within it that establish a human scale and make the park more accessible to a wider variety of people. These attractions can be anything — an outdoor cafe, an exhibit, a fountain, games, a playground or an event. Attractions don’t need to be big to create a destination. In fact, some of the best parks have numerous small attractions that, when put together, draw people all through the day. Such places create sociability and bring together the distinct and diverse communities that use the park.

The program and plan will be used to guide the design plan and construction documents.

For more information, please contact Phil Myrick.

Planning Services was last modified: March 6th, 2012 by Project for Public Spaces