Every place evokes feelings for people. A great place feels welcoming, exciting, curious, comforting—and maybe even inspiring. Your designated place always has the opportunity to evoke vastly different feelings than it does now. In downtown places, reinvestment from all parties is evident and necessary—and generates a lot of interest and excitement. A Placemaking Plan does just that—it defines an area within the community as a place of significance and puts a plan in place to reflect that vision. The process includes cultivating new ideas and generating partnerships that share in the investment and creativity of the place.
1. Gain Input
- Community Workshop: The targeted audience for the workshop is neighboring residents, business, and property owners. Serves as the community’s foundation for discovering and sharing:
- Placemaking best practices nation-wide
- Real-time information
- Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
- Initial programming thoughts and priorities
- Conceptual design ideas
- Small-Group Stakeholder Meetings: The purpose of these types of meetings is gathering stakeholders in a casual environment to share their interest and influence for the project. We brainstorm their ideas to continue building momentum and support for a civic place. Typical targeted attendees would be specific property/business owners, university and city representatives, chamber of commerce officials, and convention and visitors bureau representatives.
- Community Empowerment: The transformation of places is intentional so the community will feel a sense of ownership about its recreation as a vibrant public space. This step is crucial. Begin educating and generating ideas at the community workshop and stakeholder workshop. To create community empowerment, Schmidt Associates has found that allowing physical and deliberate interaction with the space is essential.
2. Visualize Ideas
Just like places evoke emotions, so do illustrations. Understand the importance of vivid sketches and renderings. The right image can help raise support, funding, and excitement for any project.
3. Plan For Action
Planning to make action has to be intentional. In all of Schmidt Associates’ planning work, we detail a roadmap for leadership to take action.