Reporting Marie Osborne
DETROIT (WWJ) – The Project for Public Spaces is underway in Detroit with more than 300 urban planners and economic developers from around the country discussing the concept of “placemaking” — or developing the character of a community.
Deb Dansby, a Vice President for Rock Ventures, explains.
“[It's] a way of activating your public spaces … so, your sidewalks, your streets, and your parks,” said Dansby. “And if you think about Detroit, we have these great sidewalks, they’re huge; and then we have these huge streets with lots of lanes; and we have these great public spaces.”
Dansby said placemaking is an old concept with a new name. It’s similar to decorating your home: You designing your home the way you want it to be because you live there.
You must consider, said Dansby: ”How do you activate [people] in ways that will draw [them] to want be part of that environment to experience activities within those environments and then wanna come back and repeat it?”
Developers are looking at a section of Brooklyn, New York, as a possible blueprint for revitalizing Detroit.
Morgan Greenseth, who represents a New York design firm, said the once dangerous, decayed community of Williamsburg is now thriving, thanks to placemaking.
“The artists came out, and they made it hip and cool. And I think that’s what Detroit really needs, is to get the artists out into the center …,” Greenseth said.
Learn more about placemaking at this link.