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Image: “Faces of Regent Park”. Photo by Dan Bergeron | Fauxreel.ca

What is Creative Placemaking?

Placemaking is a practice advanced by urbanist Jane Jacobs and others in the 1960s that promoted multi-dimensional approaches to planning, designing and managing public spaces. NYC-based Project for Public Spaces has helped rekindle interest in placemaking and expand its adoption in the urban development community over the past few decades.

Artscape coined the term “creative placemaking” in 2006 to assert that there was a unique way in which arts, culture and creative pursuits could be leveraged to add transformative value to neighbourhoods. The notion behind creative placemaking is not simply about undertaking placemaking in a creative way, but rather it is about leveraging art and culture as a catalyst for urban and community development. Today there is a global community of practice using creative placemaking approaches to develop stronger, more dynamic and inclusive communities.

What is the Creative Placemaking Lab?

The Creative Placemaking Lab is an innovation lab and social enterprise of Artscape which works to explore how arts and culture can contribute to the creation of more playful, participatory, affordable and just cities. The lab leverages Artscape’s 30 years of leadership and expertise to partner with governments, private developers, cultural leaders and communities to solve urban problems and reimagine urban development through arts and culture.

The Creative Placemaking Lab plays an important role in helping to advance the strategic goals of Artscape. This small team helps develop tools and frameworks that allow Artscape to learn how it can better help artists to thrive. In addition to building a community of practice with cities around the world, the Lab also undertakes projects which aim to make creative placemaking a more prominent part of mainstream urban development conversations and processes. Overall, the Creative Placemaking Lab works to increase awareness and understanding of the value that creative placemaking can provide for both communities and artists.

Creative Placemaking Services

The Lab supports the development of Artscape’s creative placemaking projects and engages other city builders by providing the following services:

Strategy & Design

We develop creative placemaking models & strategies for cities, cultural facilities and NGOs

Development Partnerships

We partner with urban developers and city builders to create cultural hubs and plans

Thought Leadership

We share resources and speak about the practice of creative placemaking with others

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