What placemaking style is right for you?

4-types-placemaking“Placemaking is the process of creating quality places that people want to live, work, play and learn in.” Mark Wyckoff of Michigan State University’s Land Policy Institute (LPI) establishes that definition in this new article in which he defines three types of placemaking:

  •  Strategic
  • Creative
  • Tactical

Actually there are four types of placemaking, but “Standard” placemaking essentially covers what we think of as the traditional planning process.

Strategic placemaking addresses specific goals. The state of Michigan, through its Miplace Partnership Initiative, has defined that goal as attracting talented workers and is driving placemaking in Michigan communities through training (via LPI), technical support and targeted funding.

Creative placemaking is just what it says: It’s structured around arts and cultural activities and is embraced by the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Conference of Mayors and American Architectural Foundation.

You’ll find the Project for Public Spaces and the Street Plans Collaborative advocating tactical placemaking (with a nice shout out here to Detroit). Their “lighter, quicker, cheaper” approach uses pop-up activities to create temporary places that can drive permanent change.

These three forms of placemaking are not mutually exclusive. The illustration from the LPI publication suggests that the most effective placemaking involves all three.

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