Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people's health, happiness, and well being. It is political due to the nature of place identity. Placemaking is both a process and a philosophy.
The concepts behind placemaking originated in the 1960s, when writers like Jane Jacobs and William H. Whyte offered groundbreaking ideas about designing cities that catered to people, not just to cars and shopping centers. Their work focused on the importance of lively neighborhoods and inviting public spaces. Jacobs advocated citizen ownership of streets through the now-famous idea of "eyes on the street." Whyte emphasized essential elements for creating social life in public spaces.
The term came into use in the 1970s by landscape architects, architects and urban planners to describe the process of creating squares, plazas, parks, streets and waterfronts that will attract people because they are pleasurable or interesting. Landscape often plays an important role in the design process.
The writings of poet Wendell Berry have contributed to an imaginative grasp of place and placemaking, particularly with reference to local ecology and local economy. He wrotes that, "If what we see and experience, if our country, does not become real in imagination, then it never can become real to us, and we are forever divided from it... Imagination is a particularizing and a local force, native to the ground underfoot."
- Dec 31, 2009 (2009-12-31). "What is Placemaking? | Project for Public Spaces". Pps.org. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- Imagination in Place, by Wendell Berry (2010)
- The Art of Placemaking: Interpreting Community Through Public Art and Urban Design, by Ronald Lee Fleming at The Townscape Institute (2007)
- Placemaking: The Art and Practice of Building Communities, by Lynda H. Schneekloth & Robert G. Shibley (1995)
- Place and Space: The Perspective of Experience, by Yi-Fu Tuan (1977)
- How to Turn a Place Around, by Project for Public Spaces (2000)
- The Ecology of Place, by Timothy Beatley and Kristy Manning (1997)
- Environmental Graphics: Project and Process by Wayne Hunt, Hunt Design (2004)
- Graphic Design and Architecture: A Twentieth Century History  by Richard Poulin (2012)
- Pierce, Martin, Murphy, “Relational Place-Making: the networked politics of place.” The Royal Geographical Society (2010): 55.
- Sustainable placemaking site curated by Michigan State University professor
- Project for Public Spaces
- City Repair, Portland, Oregon Citizen activism for a more community-oriented and ecologically sustainable society
- Places: Forum of Design for the Public Realm, a placemaking journal
- VIDEO: The Atrium — An Example In Placemaking. Presented at The Canadian Institute of Planners 2013 conference