① Engage Local Experts – The most valuable perspectives come from those with local neighbourhood experience and insight. This engagement process involves listening, identifying issues, incorporating good ideas, discovering talents and helping co-ordinate resources. Vision casting is part of the process as together we learn from those who live or work nearby in addressing the character of the space, existing activities, uses, and local significance to the community.
② Build Support and Approval – Place-making, at the grassroots level, is about vitalizing a space with activity and arts and cultural programming that will have the support of the Community Association and the necessary approvals from The City.
③ Find Project Partners – Industry, financial, and political partners can contribute significantly. Partners can provide innovative ideas, financial resources, political support, and they can help program supporting activities including regular monitoring and maintenance protocols. Obviously, location, visibility and the type and level of activity forecast for a placemaking project can attract financial support if aligned with community and social investment policies of partners.
④ Foster Community Ownership – Communities are dynamic, responding to a multitude of influences, shifts in perspective, a world in transition. New ideas, coordinating volunteers, sharing the vision and building support will be challenging and will require leadership that fosters a sense of community ownership.
⑤ Learning Where People Want To Be – Building good connections and growing great community places are really about where people in the community want to be. We can learn a lot by observing existing spaces and the adaptive behaviour of those using them. Microclimate often has a significant influence on how a space will be used. Supporting elements combine form and function with a social synergy.
⑥ Evaluating Temporary Pop-up Installations – Placing temporary elements to test ideas and encourage adaptive interaction from neighbours participating in this process will demonstrate flexibility and experimentation to validate longer term more permanent solutions.
⑦ Effective Management – Great places are typically changing daily, seasonally, or from one year to the next making flexibility in management critical. Effectively managing the nature of a place in its cultural and environmental context is the ongoing challenge.