Placemaking

Gordon Cullen the eminent illustrator and urban designer described in the 1960s how an ugly urban traffic roundabout can be made into a memorable place that is elegant and pleasant to use and where people will want to visit and return.

Though Cullen’s example may seem elaborate, his principles can be applied to any street. A straightforward assessment of attractiveness is to ask “How good is your street?” Our checklist suggests things to look for that are good, bad or could be improved. A simple process to accentuate what is good and memorable in any street scene is to reduce street clutter.

Placemaking has now developed to refer to the continual adjustment and management of public places including streets, to promote people’s health, happiness and wellbeing, by being suitably adaptable for a wide range of people and activities.

Essentially there need to be pleasant links and connections (footpaths, gardens, etc.) to and from other places, including the adjacent buildings.

Many public spaces are associated with roads & traffic. This is explained in the following section, followed by a sample of projects and the process of getting them done.