A Unique, Local Definition of Placemaking
and Community Empowerment
There are many different definitions to describe what creative placemaking is. Placemaking takes old concepts about designing inclusive communities and brings them together into a new field in Arts and Urban Design.
But not all terms and conditions of placemaking are created equally.
The concept of Mattapan Open Streets/Open Studios was borne out of the need to support resident artists and to revitalize the neighborhood through resident-led processes.
As such, we focus working directly with residents and local artists in a process that empowers the community so they can set their own vision for arts and community development. Some refer to this as "placekeeping."
The essential elements to our creative placemaking are:
1) Participatory in Nature
Traditionally Design has been limited to a single designer or group and the client that commissioned it. The concept of placemaking involves community engaged leadership and decision making.
2) Meets Broader Community, Economic, etc goals
The project and the process must be responsive to people’s needs.
3) Incorporates arts and culture into the practice
We value the local heritages and cultures represented.
4) Projects can be temporary, long term or permanent
Depending on the project goals and the resources available, a project or series of projects can be short term placeholder for future infrastructure projects, serve as a long term installation, or a permanent one.
5) Is Innovative and Impactful
Because Creative Placemaking is about social change, projects are encouraged to be as change making as they are disruptive and thought-provoking.