Placemaking has become a popular term in policy circles for making a city, region or community more inviting for residents and investment, both existing and prospective. In growing economies such as Alberta, placemaking can help balance growth pressures with liveability, in addition to attracting new talent. But successful placemaking is complex, requiring the engagement of a wide array of stakeholders and going well beyond the branding and beautification exercises often associated with it. Housing forms and availability, community design, transportation, sustainability, local narratives and governance all weigh into the success of any placemaking initiative.
The City-Region Studies Centre (CRSC) is pleased to present the first of its two-part “Placemaking in a Growing Economy” project, supported by the Alberta Real Estate Foundation. Delivered through the CRSC’s national publication Curb Magazine, planners, researchers and community members across Canada explore the nature of placemaking generally as well as provide specific lessons for placemakers through discussion of: the complex nature of place-marketing; the dangers of gentrification; bridging the gap between the real estate community and placemaking projects; connecting plans to the community, and more. Curb’s “Placemaking” issue also includes case studies in Canadian placemaking and an interview with the City of Toronto’s Chief Planner, Jennifer Keesmaat.
Curb Magazine is available through the City-Region Studies Centre (http://www.crsc.ualberta.ca). A complimentary digital copy of “Placemaking” is available in the AREF Resource Library. The “Placemaking in a Growing Economy” project will conclude with an issue of Curb Magazine on “Boomtowns,” due out in spring 2014.