PPS Asks, “What If We Reinvented Civic Infrastructure Around Placemaking?”

“The future of thriving and resilient cities is not led by sustaining or innovating around infrastructure and services, but by building the capacity of communities to drive their own shared value–to sustain Placemaking.”

So says Ethan Kent. And I think he is right.

Ethan is from the Project for Public Spaces and he recently authored an article that asserts that governmental structures should be recast around the principles of great placemaking. The article is thought provoking and Ethan cites some concrete examples of where it is already happening. The excerpt below gives you a little flavor. You can check-out the entire article here.

“Even when the expertise and networks for successful public space exist, we find that groups have rarely focused collectively on improving public space, but when asked to do so, are able (with basic tools, education, and facilitation) to quickly vision and implement very effectively. In light of this impact in our Placemaking projects, we have increasingly focused beyond leading projects to providing the tools, resources, capacity-building and strategic planning for stronger Placemaking and Place Governance.

At a city level, we have focused on shifting the culture and capacity of governance through various approaches to Placemaking campaigns and academies in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, San AntonioIndianapolisBaltimoreSeattleOmahaFlint, MIBrunswick, MEBellingham, WA in the US; Vancouver, Regina and Mississauga in Canada; Newcastle, PerthAdelaide and Melbourne in Australia; Stockholm, Sweden; Singapore; and Pimpri-Chinchwad, India. In Michigan, the campaign to focus governance through Placemaking that began in many towns and cities has caught on like wildfire, and has grown to be a state-wide effort.”

To check out the placemaking efforts in Michigan, click here.