What’s Another Word for Placemaking?

Posted on May 24, 2011 by


According to Wikipedia:

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.

But is placemaking an unwieldy term or what? Couldn’t there be something better to describe it?

Picture courtesy of Arbor Engineering

Universities such as Harvard have used placemaking to create successful public spaces on their campus. So is placemaking just design and architecture in a new gown?

When Project for Public Spaces asked people to tell them what placemaking means to them, they got some interesting results. I’m not saying that the term isn’t valid, but that it really puts the emphasis on how much places can mean to people. In essence, it really hits home the fact that designers need to be thinking about just who will be using the place they are creating. So placemaking is like target marketing for areas.

Have you heard of placemaking before this article? If so, how has it affected your design decisions? If not, have you heard or been using another term that means the same thing? Let us know in the comments.

Posted in: Facilities