Placemaking is an integrated approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces, with a strong focus on the involvement of communities of stakeholders. This approach involves looking at, listening to, and asking questions to the community to discover their needs and aspirations.
This June 2019, ROCK took part in the European Placemaking Week in Valencia. With a workshop entitled Heritage building stronger communities, we looked at how cultural heritage can be used as a placemaking tool in urban contexts, focused on the following aspects: 1) Sociability and liveability of a place (through participatory approaches for social inclusion), 2) Vibrant uses & activities (experimented through sustainable adaptive reuse of CH); 3) Increased Accessibility & linkages (exploring both physical/ non-physical accessibility of CH) and 4) Comfort & image (connected with safety, security, but also branding and CH promotion).
In the ROCK cities, cultural heritage is used as a tool to experiment with collaborative models of urban development, as in Bologna with the transformation of the Zamboni area into an open experimentation lab, in Lisbon with the Interpretive Centre of Marvila and in the Old Bazaar of Skopje with the newly set Skopje Urban Living Lab. Combining the placemaking approach with cultural heritage is a great way to create a sense of place for communities to enjoy, preserve and take ownership of cultural heritage in their neighbourhoods.
The presentation included also a part dedicated to Cultural Heritage as a driver for branding the contemporary city, showcasing some ROCK cities examples from the branding toolkit. The toolkit is available online: https://www.branding-toolkit.rockproject.eu/