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Placemaking

Description

Placemaking refers to the collaborative process of shaping the public realm to better support connections between people and places. The goal is to promote better urban design through a creative use of space, considering the physical, cultural, and social identities that define that place. 

There are infinite different types of placemaking activities, so this Toolkit just focuses on the general process. Ideas include pop-up plazas or markets, amenities likes seating or public art, and programming. Be creative when you think about how to more effectively use your space and identify projects! If you have ideas or questions, contact staff – we can share resources or connect you with other potential partners!

Steps 

  1. Define place and identify stakeholders. The process starts with a meeting to engage community representatives from public, private, and civic sectors in order to identify the main issues that different groups face, and to identify a particular place or places to focus efforts.

  2. Evaluate space and identify issues. Stakeholders observe how a place is used and how it could be improved. Specific topics are identified for more investigation. The goal is to create a preliminary vision for the space and begin brainstorming about potential partners. It is important to identify multiple ways that stakeholders or other participants can provide feedback — some may respond best to a survey, while others may want to attend a guided discussion/observation of the space.

  3. Create a vision. Stakholders should use insights from Step 2 to create a vison for the place. The vision should include a mission or statement of goals, a definition of how the space will be used and by whom, a description of the intended character of the space, a concept plan, examples of similar spaces, and an action plan. 

  4. Short-term experiments. Once you have a vision, you can start to implement. One of the easiest ways to implement is to use “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” (LQC) projects to test out different ideas. LQC projects are short-term projects that can be done quickly with a small budget, and can easily be undone. Keep in mind that implementation of these projects may require a Special Event Permit from the City of Tulsa. 

  5. Ongoing reevaluation and long-term changes. Creating a great public space takes time! Plan to evaluate projects so that you can see what’s working or what needs to change. You can use this data to advocate for permanent investments with the City, local businesses, or other funding opportunities. Evaluation can also help identify new LQC projects.

  6. Share your progress! Create a press release before implementing a new project and share your progress on social media by using #placemaking and tagging us at facebook.com/tulsaplanning.

Resources 

Tulsa Planning Office Contact
Luisa Krug
lkrug@cityoftulsa.org
918.579.9454

Downtown Coordinating Council
Maggie Hoey, Assistant Director
mhoey@cityoftulsa.org
The Downtown Coordinating Council supports downtown businesses/property owners within the Inner Dispersal Loop and may be able to connect you with funding opportunities or assistance in the development and design of your project.

City of Tulsa Special Events
Skipper Bain
sbain@cityoftulsa.org

Project for Public Spaces
pps.org/category/placemaking
pps.org/category/lighter-quicker-cheaper

AARP and Team Better Block Pop up Placemaking Toolkit
aarp.org/livable-communities/tool-kits-resources/info-2019/pop-up-tool-kit.html