Creative Placemaking in Focus
The power of creative placemaking has been highlighted as an innovative and transformative way to make a real difference to communities.
The latest issue of the award-winning RSA Journal explores the role of place and placemaking. It examines the potential impact of place-based solutions in the transition towards a ‘resilient, rebalanced and regenerative future’.
The examples highlighted in the edition of RSA Journal include Dumfries and Galloway. These show that meaningful change can be achieved by approaching placemaking with imagination and ambition.
In the feature ‘The Art of Placemaking’, Dr Cara Courage looks at how community participation should be at the core of placemaking. Dr Courage is a placemaking consultant, researcher and publisher. They propose that, for true ‘placemaking’ to occur, local people must be equal partners in setting this vision, regeneration efforts should be artist-led, and artists and communities are key to unlocking the places we need.
The article showcases The Stove Network as an example of an artist-led community project, collaborating with local people to ‘re-vision the social, natural and built elements of where they live’. Highlighting the range of Stove projects, the only Scottish initiative showcased, it mentions the cafe and the involvement in creative consultations on local plans.
The case is made that art is a key component of placemaking and that artists play a vital role in engaging people and making ‘material, social and economic change’, especially in neglected areas. The vital element of placemaking is that local people are involved in the co-production of the art at the heart of their community.
There are of course many examples of placemaking in practice across Dumfries and Galloway through What We Do Now with more activities, events and initiatives to be announced soon.
What We Do Now Project Lead Kat Wheeler recently joined Dr Courage and a range of other local, regional and international placemaking voices at the ABC Culture Conference in Northern Ireland. This is a new annual meeting of minds and collectively delegated examined The New Cultural Geography of Smaller Places and explored the relationship between creative process and place in small cities and rural regions.
“This focus from the RSA journal, and events such as the ABC Culture Conference, highlight a growing understanding of the innovation that can be found in certain grassroots approaches to placemaking and the opportunities this can unlock for communities locally, nationally and internationally. What We Do Now is delighted to share it’s learning in what can be achieved and as the network continues to develop and evolve, I am excited to see the longer-term impact of working creatively and collaboratively with communities.”Kat Wheeler, What We Do Now Project Lead
Find out more about placemaking and the community from Dr Cara Courage in this TEDx.
Find Out More
- RSA Journal – the quarterly publication features the latest cutting-edge ideas from international writers.
- Find out more about Dr Cara Courage
- Look out for more updates and insights from the ABC Culture Conference, coming soon.