Placemaking is defined as a multifaceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Community-based participation is at its center, and it capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration and potential to create quality public spaces.
Defined by a specific geography, with a special focus on areas with strong entrepreneur, science and technology communities, innovation districts enhance those spaces with a mash-up of institutions, schools, mixed-use development like residences, retail stores and office space, bike-sharing and more. These spaces make it easier for people to congregate, collaborate and network – to share ideas that can lead to more development, access to capital and commercialization. And they end up drawing people from elsewhere in the community to visit, leading to more growth.
As the public conversation about innovation districts and placemaking continues in Oklahoma City, we’ll fill you in on terms you might hear so you can understand and join the discussion. Here are three for starters:
Placemaking: Placemaking is defined as a multifaceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Community-based participation is at its center, and it capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration and potential to create quality public spaces. It began using that idea that we should be designing cities for people and not just cars or shopping centers.
Collisions: The places where people naturally collide with each other and connect. Spaces that encourage collisions, whether it’s a park or a coffee shop or a pub, can lead to people sharing of ideas across disciplines, areas of interest and industries. In turn, these connections, even if they aren’t evident at first, can spark partnerships that lead to additional innovation and entrepreneurship.
Green spaces: An urban park might be an example of this – areas of trees and grass carved out in the midst of an asphalt landscape. Green spaces might make room for joggers or encourage public gatherings outside. According to the Project for Public Spaces, which is working with Oklahoma City on the innovation district, the local community has to determine the design for green spaces according to its culture and interests.
An emerging trend in urban areas, innovation districts are targeted areas that have potential for innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish given the right catalysts. In these areas, spaces and ideas develop organically to spur connections. Take a look at a few examples from around the world.
A foundation based in Chicago that creates safe and inspiring spaces and curates healthy intergenerational communities through urban agriculture, art, and education.
A program developed out of the Somerville Arts Council ArtsUnion Initiative in Massachusetts, Nibble celebrates cultural exchange and spurs cultural economic development for immigrant communities through cooking classes, food programming, and a culinary entrepreneurship program.
A program offered out of Denver’s Youth Media Studio, the anchor tenant in a Denver Housing Authority redevelopment effort, focused on uplifting the region’s most vulnerable youth through access to music, with the goal of re-engaging young people in their education.