For those who are not familiar with the concept, placemaking is a multidisciplinary approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. The concept behind it originated in the 1960s through the works of some American writers and in particular the sociologist, urbanist and writer William H. Whyte who often praised pedestrian spaces that invite "schmoozing" (Yiddish term meaning chatting) as well as the American-Canadian journalist Jane Jacobs. Jacobs was not trained as an urbanist but was a strong activist in favour of a community-centered approach to urban planning.
Creative placemaking is the development and shaping of a space around arts and cultural activities often in partnership with the public, private, not-for-profit, and community sectors.
Why organizing regular events is so essential to a successful placemaking? Here are a few reasons:
• What attracts people most is other people
• The New York-based nonprofit Project for Public Spaces notes that 80 percent of the success of a public space is the result of its “management” referring to how the space is maintained and the activities programmed.
• It is important to ensure that places thrive year-round by creating season-specific programs and events (even when it rains).
• Annual or seasonal events such as festivals or markets are especially effective in communities with great social, ethnic, and economic diversity. They provide focal points for sharing culture and experience and making connections.
• It is important to involve people from the area to integrate the space into the established local community and attract footfall.
• The arts have proved themselves as a catalyst for creating happier and more cohesive communities and helping to revitalise local economies
This expression is often used by our founder to explain our work. Michèle likes to use it to explain the whole process that is followed in most of our projects: research, idea development, project management, budget management, programming development, selection and organisation. Each of our projects, whether related to an event, a tour or the provision of content, has the city and urban creativity as its core.