Place making or place-breaking – an idea for creating livable places or excluding practices of western spatial planning

Authors: Jacek Kotus*, Adam Mickiewicz University, Michal Rzeszewski, Adam Mickiewicz University
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Geographic Thought
Keywords: place-making, liveable places, place-breaking, urban space, public participation
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Zulu, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Place-making became recently a fairly common trend of scientific inquiry with two main branches of research. On the one hand, place-making is treated as a general idea, a theoretical concept intended to provoke discussion. On the other hand, the place-making trend is linked to practical activities aimed at improving the surrounding space - mainly urban. The second way of viewing place-making is more commonly adopted by scientists but also by activists, specialists and various groups of residents. In our presentation we ask whether the term place-making, so readily employed by planners, has still some deeper meaning or it is just another buzz word, that prohibits critical thinking and is often used without any reflection. As a a consequence of this question others emerge: Are place-making is always making places more livable or maybe it is place-breaking – erasing existing places and defining them according to the desires of different actors? Does place-making has a common denominator in different cultures? Those questions are driving us through the discussion about various examples of place transformations that on the first glance seems positive but in reality show signs of place-breaking process.

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