The practice of placemaking can help communities achieve the ideals of the complete communities philosophy. Complete communities, among other core values, seek to be inclusive, active, and sustainable. Creating vibrant public places can play a vital role in bringing these ideals to fruition in our own communities.
Great public spaces encourage inclusive and active communities because they provide tangible features that citizens can be proud of. These are the places that citizens will choose to gather and interact with one another. Interactions amongst citizens in public spaces create social networks, promote a culture of involvement, and foster a sense of community character.
Economic and environmental sustainability can also be achieved through placemaking. Creating, maintaining, and improving public places are good practices in economic development. Businesses are attracted to and thrive in areas that have vital centers of community.
Placemaking encourages citizens to improve their environments, especially those they share with their neighbors. Many public spaces also serve as natural oases in urban settings. Open spaces provide psychological value to citizens and ecological benefits to the environment.
Creating vibrant communities where people not only can, but want to live, work, play and interact can be a difficult but exciting task. It is about creating and implementing a shared community vision—something that begins at the community level and involves local residents and stakeholders. While trained professionals can facilitate the process, community members must cooperatively identify the greatest assets, aspirations, and collective vision for their community.