Creative Placemaking and Building Connections across Communities

Authors: Mark Treskon*, Urban Institute, Sino Esthappan, Urban Institute
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Geography, Cultural Geography
Keywords: creative placemaking, community safety, community development, urban design
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Marriott Ballroom Salon 3, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Creative placemaking techniques have increasingly been incorporated into projects focused on community development and safety. By incorporating both "traditional" arts-related efforts like murals, music, sculpture, and dance, as well as creative work more generally, such as entrepreneurship promotion, novel use of space, local stakeholder engagement, creative placemaking has the potential to establish trust across a number of social and geographical pathways.

In this presentation, I present findings from an investigation of creative placemaking projects that attempt to address community safety issues. Focusing on the creation of a collaboratively designed and programmed youth clubhouse in a low-income high-crime neighborhood, I discuss how the process of its creation, as much as its physical design, is intended to promote community safety.

Using site documents, and site visit observations, interviews, and focus groups, I discuss the possibilities and limitations of this approach and focus on how the social geography of the neighborhood influenced the process of the clubhouse's creation and limits the scope of its effects. I also situate this work in the broader context of practitioners attempting to address community safety with limited resources and a mandate to show measurable effects.

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