Kamloops & District Chamber of Commerce News

The Importance of Placemaking and the Economic Benefits

Placemaking is a creative process of transforming the city into more accessible, liveable, and appealing public spaces. The community’s assets are key elements in this process to be focused upon by economic professionals and planners. Although the term placemaking has been quite recently applied since the mid-1990s, according to Landscape architect Trent Noll, this practice is much ancient; where various key activities are being promoted and facilitated to attract travelers to the main avenues of the destination. Those interests included entertainment, comfort, walkability, safety, common areas, and sustenance in public spaces.

Fundamentally, people are the essential piece of the placemaking process, to make it more meaningful and long-lasting to reap the social and economic benefits at the local destination level.

Nupur Sonkar

For example, Minneapolis’s Midtown Greenway is a great example to learn how to turn around the neglected railroad corridor into a new 5.5 bicycle corridor for the community. This greenway connects to the city’s neighborhoods and businesses which encourages several other possible ventures to come into the city while enhancing the usability and diversity of the place at the same time. For more information, click here.

Placemaking projects are an opportunity to increase the social network and financial work opportunities for the existing and future residents of the city. Similarly in Memphis, Tennessee Brewery Building was transformed into a pop-up beer garden for inviting more people to the space and city making it livelier and more usable than before. This building was on verge of destruction; however, a group of citizens had realized the potential of the untapped historic place and with the help of the local government could add a new vibrancy to the local area by redeveloping it for the blended use by businesses, housing, and retail prospects.
In the 1960s, the concept first began in the planning profession by urban planners Jane Jacobs and William H. Whyte. Since then, placemaking has been helping to evolve the U.S economy in terms of traditional financial functions like business retention and expansion, marketing, real estate development, tourism, and entrepreneurship.
Check out the video below on how to build a place-based economy where you live.

Placemaking is an ongoing process of exploration and information sharing with multiple stakeholders to capitalize on the diverse range of values of the social, cultural, ecological, and historical identity of the destination. The destination development approach must celebrate the role of the local community’s interests and aspirations to realize the monetary possibilities through the planning and designing of the local public spaces.
In the new economic world, communities are changing so the economic opportunities should be rethought by boosting the existing assets and creating interlinked neighborhood spaces for the people. As a result, multi-generational talent and communities can be empowered to make the city a desirable place to work, play, learn and live.
What are your innovative ways to create economic sustainability through Placemaking?
Please comment down below and share your wonderful views!

Contributing Author

Nupur Sonkar

Tourism Destination Development Student

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The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce is situated on the traditional and unceded lands of the Tk'emlups Te Secwepemc within Secwepemc'ulucw, the traditional territory of the Secwepemc people. We are honored to live and work and play on this land and acknowledge the complicated history and humbly move forward in a spirit of collaboration and gratitude.