Placemaking Where No One Wanted to Be Before

Jul 29, 2015

“Placemaking” is a rising trend, defined as taking a dead public space and turning it into a place people in the community will want to hang out at. For example, a deserted parking lot or construction site can be touched-up with some chairs, tables, or fake turf in some form. Sometimes, even a library or piano is added, or buskers are invited to play.

Simon Gauthier is the president of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association.

“We’ve done previously public parks that were primarily inactive, we’ve done plazas that were privately owned but not really activated,” said Gauthier. “We felt we wanted to convert these otherwise unused or unutilized spaces into community spaces … what we saw was people spent more time when we added chairs and tables, and it generated foot traffic in the immediate area for local businesses.”

Jon Stovell, president of Reliance Properties, says,

“Anytime you can create additional open space, especially when you put something like a lawn in a hard pavement, it creates an element of surprise and delight that makes people feel vibrancy and sort of a dynamism to downtown that’s not there every day. As long as you have land you should make it work well for everybody, it’s a good gesture of social responsibility.”

Read the whole story at 24 Hour News