Placemaking places people at the heart of its process—empowering individuals by giving them an active voice in shaping the spaces around them, mapping and designing their own communities. This week, we’re highlighting a few fascinating placemaking projects from around the globe that illustrate the beauty of people coming together and creating a shared vision for their community.

Block By Block - Worldwide

A new project called Block by Block, originally set up as a charity in 2016, bridges the gap between accessibility, play and urban space by bringing together two unlikely companions – the adventure video game Minecraft, and UN Habitat.  Block by Block sets up workshops across the world, inviting any and all members of the community to come build on Minecraft. These workshops are makeshift computer labs set up at community centers, allowing pairs of people to work together at different video game stations.

Public for All – South Bronx, New York City

The organization initiated a call for proposals in April 2017, seeking placemaking solutions for boroughs such as South Bronx.  One of these proposals is put forth by South Bronx Unite’s Community Land Trust which interprets public land quite literally – for the Bronx community to truly make public space their own, they have to own it – legally and reclaiming the responsibility of creating shared public space.

The Art Within: Finding Our Voice Together

Projects like “The Art Within” are showing that everyday spaces can be important sites to reconnect and build something for the public benefit.   The Park Rapids Area Library and Hubbard County Developmental Achievement Center has begun a public sculpture project that will create a large, environmentally-friendly art piece to be hung in the public library by mid-September.

As the above placemaking examples show, we can all become budding urban planners, public space designers and innovators in our own right as well as give a voice to the underprivileged and underserved when it comes to community-driven projects.

Read the full article about how placemaking builds community spaces by Nicole McGaffey at National Center for Family Philanthropy.