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Placemaking: The Latest Architecture and News

“The Citizen Urbanism Claims an Alternative Urban Model From Latin America”: Ocupa Tu Calle’s Lucia Nogales

Lucía Nogales is the general coordinator of Ocupa tu Calle (Occupy your Street) —an UN-Habitat, Avina Foundation-supported initiative promoted by Lima Como Vamos— which focuses on 'citizen urbanism' for inclusive and resilient cities in Latin America.

Bright Stripes Installation / Taller KEN + Alloy Design

© Javier Alvarez
© Javier Alvarez

© Javier Alvarez© Aryn Phillips© Aryn Phillips© Aryn Phillips+ 15

UNStudio Publishes Report on Placemaking and Community Building in the Post-Pandemic World

UNStudio has recently published a report exploring the broader scope of community building and placemaking in the post-pandemic urban environment. Through examples from their practice, UNStudio highlights various design strategies currently incorporated in architecture and urban planning that cater to the universal and crucial need to connect socially. In addition, the practice stresses the importance of “ third spaces” and human-scale connectivity, as well as the blending of digital and physical spaces of interaction.

Courtesy of UNStudio. Image FOUR FrankfurtImage Courtesy of UNStudio / Cox Architecture. ImageGreen Spine by UNStudio + Cox ArchitectureJetBrains Office. Image Courtesy of ZOA StudioBrainport Smart District Master Plan. Image Courtesy of UNSense+ 6

What Is Placemaking?

The terms space and place are often used interchangeably, but they can mean different things depending on the context in which they are used. Placemaking shows that the creation of places transcends the material dimension and involves aspects such as sociability, uses, activities, access, connections, comfort, and image, to create bonds between people and a sense of place.

Courtesy of Torino StratosfericaSundance Square, a new central place for the city of Fort Worth, TX, USA. Courtesy of  PPSThe Place Diagram, a tool to help people in judging any place, good or bad. Courtesy of PPSResidents gathering to watch a movie at Discovery Green, Houston, TX, USA. Courtesy of  PPS+ 5

Torino Stratosferica Transforms Abandoned Tramway into Vibrant Urban Park

Ever since the tramline’s closure, the 800-meter-long strip in the center of Corso Gabetti and Ponte Regina Margherita in Turin, has been abandoned. To make use of the dead area and give residents an extra space outdoors following Italy's severe pandemic repercussions, non-profit cultural association Torino Stratosferica has transformed the tree-lined strip into Precollinear Park, a temporary public space fit for socially-distanced leisure.

Courtesy of Torino StratosfericaCourtesy of Torino StratosfericaCourtesy of Torino StratosfericaCourtesy of Torino Stratosferica+ 14

Camille Walala Unveils Public Urban Interventions in London

"Les Jumeaux" or The Twins is a new large-scale public urban intervention by French artist and designer Camille Walala in White City, West London. The project encompasses two pedestrian crossings and seven striking murals, created with geometric patterns and primary colors, Walala’s signature style. Moreover, Camille Walala also unveiled this month her East London intervention, a giant work of art aiming to breathe new life into the street and boost the local economy, entitled "Walala Parade".

Les Jumeaux. Image Courtesy of Camille WalalaWalala Parade. Image © Tim CrockerLes Jumeaux. Image Courtesy of Camille WalalaWalala Parade. Image © Tim Crocker+ 13

What Makes a Great Public Place?

This article was originally published by Project for Public Spaces as "What makes a successful place?", a brief guideline about how to develop great public spaces by following four qualities: Sociability, Uses & Activities, Access & Linkages, and Comfort & Image.

Great public spaces are those places where celebrations are held, social and economic exchanges occur, friends run into each other, and cultures mix. They are the “front porches” of our public institutions – libraries, field houses, schools – where we interact with each other and government. When these spaces work well, they serve as the stage for our public lives, but what makes some places succeed while others fail?


Public Play Space (PPS) is launching a Call for Best Practices for projects and concepts focusing on innovative and creative practices for the co-design of inclusive, cohesive, and sustainable public spaces and cities, through the use of games and digital technologies.

PPS is a project co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, aiming at exploring the development of innovative and creative practices for the co-design of inclusive, cohesive and sustainable public spaces, through the use of games and digital technologies.

This Call is an opportunity to present your project at the European scale! PPS is looking for best practices

ShopSmart on Redchurch: Ideas Competition

ShopSmart on Redchurch is an ideas competition that will explore ways that placemaking and technology can bring character, activity, community and economic success to Redchurch Street in Shoreditch, London.

The brief invites new ways of thinking about the connection between retail technology and the public realm. Entry is free and we are open to submissions from students or professionals - we want creative thinkers from all industries, including architecture and urban design, landscaping, lighting, artists, tech etc.

The judging panel is chaired by Sir Peter Cook. Five shortlisted entries (individuals or teams) will received £1,000 and there is the potential for

Join 3rd International Placemaking Week in Chattanooga this October

The 3rd International Placemaking Week is an intimate, four-day-long global gathering of public space practitioners, researchers, and advocates that combines hands-on learning, public space activations, and innovative social events. Sign up before the regular registration rate ends on August 30!

Open Call: design the next generation of multimodal parklet

In partnership with Better Block Foundation, Spin is launching an open call for designers, urbanists, architects, citizens and anyone who cares about safer and more livable streets, to design an on-street parklet prototype that blends the traditional parklet, bike corral, scooter parking, and bus shelter with placemaking.

Finalist teams in the design competition will receive $1,500 towards fabrication costs, plus mentorship and support from Better Block Foundation, and up to $1,500 in travel budget for domestic U.S. travel to Denver, Colorado.

All finalist designs will be built and installed in Denver, Colorado, and rolled out on National Parking Day, September 20,

Spaces of Culture

Cultural flagships, from trendy breeding grounds to iconic cultural palaces, form the core of many urban cultural landscapes. Spaces of Culture is about the new construction and redevelopment of cultural buildings in Amsterdam in the period 2000-2016.

In the construction and development of new cultural spaces in the city, the precise location and architecture play a major role in connecting the venue to the changing needs of the public, the makers and the neighbourhood. Using various case studies, Spaces of Culture shows that the cultural sector could benefit from knowledge exchange between urban planners, developers and the world of architecture.

This book

MK:U International Design Competition

The MK:U International Design Competition seeks world-class design teams for a new model university in the Oxford to Cambridge innovation arc.

Beloved by architects as the most original and successful of the mid-twentieth century’s wave of ‘New Towns’, and famously ‘different by design’, Milton Keynes (MK) has successfully reinvented itself as a ‘Smart City’ and is a key contributor to the United Kingdom’s knowledge economy.

This success has highlighted the need for a university — MK is the largest urban area in the UK without its own university — and to resolve this, MKC and Cranfield University, a global leader for postgraduate

This Week in Architecture: What Makes a Place?

It’s well understood that a sense of place is an essential value for people, architecture, and cities. Everyone from designers to planners to city governments speak breathlessly of the power of places to transform cities for the better - but it’s not clear what placemaking really means.

2019 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence: Call for Entries Open

The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) celebrates transformative urban places distinguished by their economic and social contributions to our nation’s cities. Winners offer creative placemaking solutions that transcend the boundaries between architecture, urban design and planning and showcase innovative thinking about American cities. One Gold Medal of $50,000 and four Silver Medals of $10,000 will be awarded. 

Placemaking: Movement, Manifesto, Tool, Buzzword—or What?

Amongst other placemaking-related news this year, the Boston Society of ArchitectsPlacemaking Network celebrated its 10-year anniversary by launching the Placemaking Manifesto in November. Co-authored by Christina Lanzl, Robert Tullis, and Anne-Catrin Schultz, the document set down six key ideas: “quality of life,” “sense of place,” “community identification,” “collaboration and communication” between “individuals of all backgrounds, interests and talents,” “inclusivity” and “greater civic engagement,” and “awareness of tradition with an embracing of new and emerging technologies.” While the basic principles that placemaking espouses are often hard to question, this manifesto in particular begs one question: Is placemaking understood and defined clearly enough for it to be a useful tool for urbanists?

In the past decade or so, placemaking has gained considerable momentum, spewing forth an array of approaches, countless lists of best practices (including, in essence, this new manifesto), and complicated sub-categorizations. It is simultaneously a much-lauded global movement, an academic discipline, a field, discourse, process, and tool, but is also, among other charges, heavily criticized for being an “ill-defined buzzword.”