Placemaking is, at its roots, a response. A response to a modern pattern of city building that does not value the everyday experiences of people.
Human beings have been in the business of making cities since before recorded history. People built cities then proceeded to destroy, rebuild, sack, abandon, reimagine and resurrect them. Cities faced war, famine, floods, and disease- always changing and adjusting to meet new challenges. The result was a Darwinian prototype of the modern city- resilient, connected, and structured, with enough room for a measure of authenticity.
In the 20th Century this changed. Unique, connected places gave way to blandness and separation. Bustling city streets lost out to congested freeways as governments attempted to create new places void of the real and perceived problems of the city.
Placemaking rejects sameness in favor of genuine communities that celebrate the significance of the human spirit.