2016: The Year the Placemaking Movement Went Global

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Project for Public Spaces: The placemaking movement in 2016 continued its trajectory from a once quiet movement to a global platform to reinvent the way we shape our cities and communities. Bubbling up from every corner of the world and every sector, discipline, and cause, the placemaking movement demonstrated its capacity to provide the common ground between disparate partners necessary to implement the recently enacted “New Urban Agenda,” an international agreement to guide the growth of cities for the next 20 years.

For placemakers, 2016 saw a series of inspirationalglobal gatherings, amidst growing pressure on our agency as citizens in public space to support democracy. 2016 made it clearer than ever that the future must be increasingly defined by local communities, and it needs to be networked, organized, and resourced to refocus governance, culture and economies around place—at a global scale.

This was the goal of Placemaking Week, which took place in Vancouver, Canada, gathering over 1500 placemakers from 30 countries. Rekindling the energy of the first Habitat conference, which took place in Vancouver in 1976, a year after PPS’s founding, the many voices at the conference began to articulate a set of common values for reframing current discussions of local planning and international development alike around place-led governance and economies. Placemaking Week events included Pro Walk / Pro Bike / Pro Place, a Future of Places Summit, the Placemaking Leadership Forum, the launch of the Digital Placemaking Institute, a convening of Placemaking funders, and an energetic strategic planning session for the Canadian Placemaking movement. Read more.

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