Giving Compass' Take:

• Kimberly Burrowes explains how to conduct equitable placemaking in order to build welcoming and thriving communities. 

• How can your community benefit from equitable placemaking? 

• Read an argument for investing in transformative placemaking. 

What makes cities such as Paris, New York, and Rio de Janeiro beloved places? They have developed distinct identities that are shaped and transformed by the people who live there and contribute to a high quality of life. But ensuring that places remain inclusive, without compromising the rich diversity that comes with living in cities, is not simple. It requires that growth and development in cities and communities happen equitably. Therefore, the way we think about planning, designing, and using places is important both locally and globally.

People want to live in vibrant places with promising social and economic opportunities. Public spaces become activated as places when they are accessible, sociable, comfortable, and filled with activity. It is the sense of being lived in and utilized. Places shape how we experience cities and the interactions we have within them. Local leaders across the globehave been thinking about ways to build thriving communities that foster equitable development and social inclusion. As cities become more diverse—economically and racially—it is increasingly necessary to ensure places and the people who live there are not isolated or displaced.

Placemaking has become an important tool in the community development toolbox to revitalize disinvested, underutilized areas to attract people and activities. The Project for Public Spaces defines it as the process of collaboratively creating places that are meaningful to a community and that enhance people’s quality of life. Placemaking is about fostering a sense of belonging in a place and providing the community an opportunity to define its use. When done effectively, it can help strengthen local economies, reduce crime, drive civic engagement, and improve health and well-being.

Read the full article about equitable placemaking by Kimberly Burrowes at Stanford Social Innovation Review.