When I came across the concept of place making a couple of years ago, I felt a bit like I’d come home. This is the stuff I live and breathe. It’s in my make up. This is what I do without thinking about it. You might be the same.
When I walk down streets I’m always observing how well places serve the people who use them and am thinking about what would make somewhere more lively, more human. I know that I notice and care about how the physical environment affects community activity and my own sense of well being. I’m drawn to people-friendly, lively places which support the human interactions of connection and exchange that are the building blocks of our communities.
What I like about place making is that it brings together this sensitivity to our physical environment with a strong commitment to community development principles and goals. And it’s a powerful mix.
I think that Perth is a city that can benefit dramatically from a stronger focus on place. Both on the larger scale, in terms of injecting some ‘soul’ into our city centre that then sets the tone for the rest of the city and on a small scale everywhere – in our local main streets, suburbs, community centres, local parks and community gardens. Place making is the broad agenda that can unite the diverse activities of many in our city – like William Street Collective, REmida Creative Reuse Centre, Tiger Tiger coffee bar and West Leederville Community Garden – who are seeding, nurturing and growing vibrant and creative community places.
For more info on place making, visit Project for Public Spaces (PPS).