What is placemaking?
Well, one formal definition from Wikipedia describes it as, “a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces.”
“Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well being. It is political due to the nature of place identity. Placemaking is both a process and a philosophy.”
To me, this sounds very close to the work we do here at The Hub. It relates very much to the broader goals of community development.
Focusing on your community’s assets, and the potential that is already there, is key to growing local economies in West Virginia.
Just look at the great success in Fayetteville, around its natural assets, in Thomas around buildings and location, and Lewisburg, with the proximity to students.
Better health, happiness and well-being is also a huge goal for both West Virginia as a whole, and here at The Hub, exemplified by our work behind the West Virginia Physical Activity Network.
As both a process that we do everyday in creating positive changes in our communities, and as a philosophy that guides the kinds of projects that we do, the opportunity for greater placemaking in West Virginia is ample.
So, as a resource around this great opportunity, an organization called the Smart Growth Network is offering a free webinar soon that touches on how placemaking and economic growth go hand in hand.
In this webinar, experts will explain how strategic placemaking and broad stakeholder participation is improving the quality and amount of redevelopment in Michigan’s urban centers, and how these strategies can be implemented in other cities.
In West Virginia’s currently changing economy, placemaking is one strategy with real potential to help us find a way forward.
If you are interesting in tuning in, the “Placemaking as Economic Development,” webinar will take place on October 7 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.