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Placemaking: The Latest Architecture and News

3rd International Placemaking Week

11:16 - 14 August, 2019
3rd International Placemaking Week, Join us for the 3rd International Placemaking Week on October 1-4 in Chattanooga, TN!
Join us for the 3rd International Placemaking Week on October 1-4 in Chattanooga, TN!

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.

This year's event on October 1-4, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will provide a platform for placemakers to share tools, stories, and lessons learned. Organized by Project for Public Spaces and local co-host The Enterprise Center, the event will present an inspiring and engaging week full of hands-on sessions, off-site workshops, tours, and networking events, all designed to build upon our previous Placemaking Weeks in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in 2017, and

Open Call: design the next generation of multimodal parklet

12:42 - 27 June, 2019
Open Call: design the next generation of multimodal parklet, Visit www.spin.pm/parklets to learn more and apply. Image credit: Spin
Visit www.spin.pm/parklets to learn more and apply. Image credit: Spin

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,

What Makes a Great Public Place?

06:30 - 12 April, 2019
What Makes a Great Public Place?, A crowd of locals watch a movie at Discovery Green, Houston, TX, USA. Image Courtesy of PPS
A crowd of locals watch a movie at Discovery Green, Houston, TX, USA. Image Courtesy of PPS

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?

Spaces of Culture

14:00 - 20 February, 2019
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

06:00 - 30 January, 2019
MK:U International Design Competition, MK:U International Design Competition, images Luke Hayes
MK:U International Design Competition, images Luke Hayes

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?

09:30 - 29 September, 2018
This Week in Architecture: What Makes a Place? , Courtesy of Es Devlin
Courtesy of Es Devlin

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

15:42 - 27 September, 2018
2019 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence: Call for Entries Open, 2017 Rudy Bruner Award Medalists (Photo Credits on RBA Website)
2017 Rudy Bruner Award Medalists (Photo Credits on RBA Website)

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?

09:30 - 2 January, 2018
Placemaking: Movement, Manifesto, Tool, Buzzword—or What?, The High Line in New York has arguably been one of the great successes of placemaking principles. Image © Iwan Baan
The High Line in New York has arguably been one of the great successes of placemaking principles. Image © Iwan Baan

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.”

Open Call: Hacking Urban Furniture

05:00 - 29 June, 2017
Open Call: Hacking Urban Furniture

For the last 30 years, street furniture and outdoor advertising have defined the grammar of our cities. In Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP), cities award long-term licenses for advertising in public space in relation to the partly necessary urban furniture and their maintenance (bus stops, public bathrooms, benches, trash bins, signposts, etc.). The business model is dominated by the few large, globally oriented companies with profits running into billions. For instance, for years Berlin has been “supplied” by the Wall AG - part of the international JCDecaux group as the number one outdoor advertiser worldwide since 2009 (with a turnover in 2014 of 2,8 billion euros in more than 60 countries with 11.900 employees).

2017 SEGD Global Design Awards

15:00 - 8 December, 2016
2017 SEGD Global Design Awards, 2017 SEGD Global Design Awards Now Open for Entries
2017 SEGD Global Design Awards Now Open for Entries

The 2017 SEGD Global Design Awards, the only international awards program focused on user experiences in the built environment, is now open for entries. 
Since 1987, the SEGD Global Design Awards have set the standard of excellence for environmental graphic design and experiential graphic design, honoring design work that connects people to place by providing direction, content and compelling experiences in public spaces. 


Gentrification's Image Problem and How It Has Been Villified

08:00 - 21 November, 2016
Gentrification's Image Problem and How It Has Been Villified, Revitalização da High Line, linha férrea desativada de Nova York, elevou os preços dos imóveis da região. Image © Steven Severinghaus, via Flickr. CC
Revitalização da High Line, linha férrea desativada de Nova York, elevou os preços dos imóveis da região. Image © Steven Severinghaus, via Flickr. CC

The idea of revitalizing a public space by bringing improvement that brings people together should not generate suspicion or fear. However, specific examples of places that have seen the cost of living greatly increase after their revitalization have been creating paradoxes. After all, does this "new villain" called gentrification have any relation to placemaking?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes. Although it's not a direct relation of cause and effect, it is impossible to deny the tenuous line between the two concepts. By definition, gentrification, or "ennoblement," refers to the social, cultural, and economic improvement of a neighborhood or, on a larger scale, of an entire region. Placemaking is the process of planning quality public spaces that contribute to the well-being of the local community. The concepts may be similar, but the methods and consequences of the two are very different.

Knight Cities Challenge: Open Call for Civic Innovators around the Country for Their Best Idea

01:00 - 11 October, 2016
Knight Cities Challenge: Open Call for Civic Innovators around the Country for Their Best Idea, Credit: Knight Foundation
Credit: Knight Foundation

From Charlotte, North Carolina, to San Jose, California, cities around the country are looking to address major challenges and build more successful communities. The Knight Cities Challenge, which opens today, is an invitation to engage in that process. It asks civic innovators to answer the question: What’s your best idea to make cities more successful?

2017 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence: Call for Entries

15:07 - 27 September, 2016
2017 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence: Call for Entries, 2015 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Gold Medalist - Miller's Court - Baltimore, MD
2015 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Gold Medalist - Miller's Court - Baltimore, MD

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. 

Call for Entries: 2017 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence

04:25 - 19 September, 2016
Call for Entries: 2017 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence

The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence celebrates urban places that are distinguished by quality design and their social and economic 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. Projects must be a real place, not just a plan or a program, and be located in the 48 contiguous United States.

2016 Design Matters Conference presented by the Association of Architecture Organizations

05:00 - 15 September, 2016
2016 Design Matters Conference presented by the Association of Architecture Organizations

The Design Matters Conference presented by the Association of Architecture Organizations is the world’s only dedicated annual meeting that seeks to bring top designers, journalists and civic leaders into exploratory dialogue with those not-for-profit professionals and volunteers charged with creating cultural programs (exhibitions, tours, lectures and symposia, festivals and films, youth outreach) to spur broader public interest in architecture and design.

Call for Entries: Ship Point Pop-Up Design Competition

10:31 - 26 March, 2016
Call for Entries: Ship Point Pop-Up Design Competition, Ship Point Pop-Up Design Competition Poster / City of Victoria
Ship Point Pop-Up Design Competition Poster / City of Victoria

The City of Victoria invites teams and individuals to submit creative design concepts to temporarily transform Ship Point Plaza, an underutilized paved plaza space along Victoria’s downtown waterfront, into a magnetic and memorable ‘pop-up’ public space during the 2016 summer season.

Open Call: Santa Monica LAGI 2016: Powering Places in Southern California

14:31 - 4 March, 2016
Open Call: Santa Monica LAGI 2016: Powering Places in Southern California

The Land Art Generator Initiative is delighted to announce that LAGI 2016 will be held in Southern California, with the City of Santa Monica as site partner. This free and open call ideas competition invites individuals or interdisciplinary teams to design a large-scale site-specific work of public art that also serves as clean energy and/or drinking water infrastructure for the City of Santa Monica.

The complete Design Guidelines along with CAD files, photos, and more will be available on January 1, 2016 at http://landartgenerator.org/designcomp

The design site includes the breakwater adjacent to the historic Santa Monica Pier and offers the opportunity to

PUBLIC Platform | What's Your Big Idea ?

09:01 - 19 November, 2015
PUBLIC Platform | What's Your Big Idea ?

In 2016 PUBLIC ideas go into action with FORM’s PUBLIC Platform taking creativity for the common good out into the streets and laneways. PUBLIC Platform invites you – the diverse creative minds from all parts of our community – to create installations and activation prototypes to enliven Claremont town centre during PUBLIC’s annual takeover on 2 & 3 April. Prototypes for citizens and by citizens will reimagine our public spaces and activities, and engage the public to participate, explore and play in their own city. Your big idea could bring our streets to life. Entries are due by January