The Idea of Placemaking
The term ‘placemaking’ appears more and more frequently in planning documents such as County Development Plans and Local Area Plans. It is usually referred to in these documents as an important principle that should guide the planning and development of our towns, villages and communities. But what does the term mean? The Project for Public Spaces (see www.pps.org) describes placemaking like this:
‘Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value. More than just promoting better urban design, placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.’
So, at the heart of the concept of placemaking is the principle that local people and local communities should be full partners in planning for their communities, whether it be a small investment in the local streetscape, or a large urban development. This idea of placemaking is at the core of the values of Imagine Dundrum and the inspiration for our approach to the future of Dundrum Village.
Sadly, many of the official planning documents that promote the idea of placemaking may use the language but do not put the community and active engagement with local communities at the heart of their work. Imagine Dundrum will continue to press for a voice for the community in any projects, large or small, that impact on Dundrum.