Revitalising our Public Spaces with Placemaking

3 August 2022 — Public spaces have the potential to become the beating heart of our communities, where we forge new memories and unforgettable experiences. When done right, placemaking transforms public spaces into places that inspire us to come together to work, collaborate, and play.

Placemaking is a collaborative process that brings together communities and stakeholders to turn ordinary spaces into liveable, lovable places. It strengthens our sense of belonging, heritage, and shared identities.

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Great Public Places Foster Attachment and a Sense of Identity

What makes a city or a place great? In a word: community.

We would not have cities without remarkable public spaces and the communities that keep them alive. Public spaces evoke a sense of vibrancy and attachment through social interaction. People become more attached to their surroundings, and the larger community, when they have a great place to go. This starts with improving public spaces to attract local communities. For people to develop a sense of identity within a place, that place requires a few key elements.

Key Qualities of Good Public Spaces:

  • Encourages human and social interaction
  • Promotes a safe, comforting, and inclusive environment
  • Includes a visually appealing design
  • Attracts the public with its inspiring architecture
  • Actively promotes community participation
  • Reflects the history or culture of the place

How can Placemaking build Stronger Communities?

Because public spaces are openly accessible and free to use they reduce barriers for access, encouraging social and cultural engagement, community involvement, and activities. The role of Placemaking is to facilitate collaboration and bring people together as a community to transform public spaces into places that can be loved. Trust is established, and bonds are strengthened through these shared spaces.

MB promenade_credit URA

Urban Placemaking Opens Awareness to the Environment

Understanding environmental and conservation consciousness, sometimes known as "environmentalism," is crucial to maintaining public spaces, given the threat of climate change. Urban Placemaking is concerned with remaking public spaces that emphasise the environment they exist in. By focusing on creating liveable urban places that empower sustainable growth and development, Placemakers can have a dramatic impact on urban cities. This effect can manifest in several ways, from endorsing green technologies for the betterment of communities, to coordinating the design of appealing, convivial, healthy, and environmentally friendly locations. 

Spark Economic Growth

Lastly, successful placemaking results in sustainable economic growth and development. After all, the goal of placemaking is to bring together communities with the same vision to develop spaces that are socially and economically viable. A great place can attract people to live, work, invest, and play. Over time, this builds strong communities, healthy liveable cities, and equitable access. The significance of such a “place” holds economic and social value. In placemaking, each of us has a role to play in contributing to the development of liveable, loveable places.

Want to know more?
Sign up for the NUS short course
Placemaking Design Thinking
21 - 22 November 2022

Become the best placemakers capable of addressing the issues and complexities of placemaking. Learn to become problem-solvers, innovators, and leaders in your placemaking projects. This workshop helps you to understand and define the nature of real-life problems in the VUCA world we live in. Apply a multidisciplinary approach to address the complexities of placemaking through this course. 

Registration is open – sign up now.
Photo credits: Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore
03 August 2022