Gateway Gazette

Creative Placemaking: Understanding the True Value of our Community Public Spaces

creative-placemaking-walkway-600By Chad Hason, Content Contributor, Calgary Regional Partnership

It’s been said that a city displays its true character  through the use of its public space.

Healthy, attractive, active public spaces are the springboard for revitalizing communities.

With 50% of the international population now living in cities, the need for well-managed public space has never been stronger.

What is “placemaking?”

Placemaking is a growing multi-faceted approach to growth planning.

It acknowledges the potential of public spaces, regardless of size, to jumpstart the economic development in communities.

What exactly constitutes “public spaces”?

creative-placemaking-concrete-park-600Not all public spaces within a community are easy for everyone to identify.

They can include:

  • A boulevard lined with sidewalks
  • A park with benches and pathways
  • A public plaza between government or corporate buildings
  • Walkways, stairways and back alleys
  • Courtyards or abandoned lots
  • Bridges and underpasses
  • Anywhere that isn’t owned by a private entity

Even though these types of spaces technically belong to everybody, they are traditionally treated as though they belong to nobody.

The result is unkempt, unattractive and unrealized areas that do nothing for the community that owns them – but that doesn’t have to be the case here in Alberta!

The City of Airdrie and the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) strongly believe by claiming these spaces and developing them to provide value, they become an attractive way to build a sense of community, civic identity and culture.

Source Calgary Regional Partnership

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