Kamloops & District Chamber of Commerce News

Placemaking and Safe Communities

How does placemaking make a community safer?

Placemaking is a process to create visually attractive public spaces for the community. The focus of placemaking is to improve the neighborhood, city, or region through reimagining and reinventing the spaces simultaneously bringing people together for creating opportunities for connection and optimizing the shared value of the place.  
Specifically, the public space must feel welcoming and safer to their locals and visitors to add friendliness and diversity. So, the main goal should involve ways for improving the quality of life of locals mentally, physically, and psychologically. Therefore, attracting people to these spaces would create reliable ways to explore connections and increase social networks while sharing common interests in local food, culture, and traditions.  This automatically leads to the scale of creating safer and empowered communities for promoting the place from the local level to the regional or national level.  

In simple words, if a public space has not been created in a way to provide multiple activities for the residents or visitors, then the place would feel uncomfortable and unsafe. As a result, people might not use the place or street more often, and that is directed to unwanted activities taking forms in those places. Thus, placemaking is instrumental to not just transforming the space into an appealing place, but also the decision-making process offers the platform to invite locals, arts organizations, businesses and private organizations and public governments to collaborate for information sharing to curate these spaces according to various kinds of communities’ needs and vision. The bottom-up approach of placemaking might offer insight to resolve social challenges in the community (such as safety, liveliness, and sustainability). 
Click here to find some of the knowledgeable examples about placemaking in different locations to cater the community at the core and making the process beneficial in a variety of ways. 

The community-based approach is much needed bringing forth the community’s assets, inspirations, and values into the motive of the current urban designers and planners. Health, happiness, and the community’s well-being are all interconnected to the creation of quality places. So, the shared community vision is the central element for driving the process of shaping the physical, social, and cultural structure of the place. Whether there is the potential for markets, parks, plazas, neighborhoods, streets, or public buildings; the placemaking process keeps evolving incrementally by adding multiple feedback and ideas from the local community and local business entrepreneurs.  

Below is a Ted Talk by Elina Madison explaining key elements of connecting placemaking and people together.

Elena Madison is an urban planner with rich experience in the planning and design of parks, plazas, campuses, and the outdoor spaces of civic and cultural institutions.

A Vice President at “Project for Public Spaces”

Contributing Author

Nupur Sonkar

Tourism Destination Development Student

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