What is Cultural Placemaking?

Cultural placemaking emphasises the role of culture, creativity, heritage assets, and innovative practice in making places more liveable. Sometimes called creative placemaking, the approach includes ideas like using local heritage and authentic stories to bring places alive, creative practitioners and partners as part of the planning, and encourages people to celebrate the distinctiveness of places.

What makes a ‘space’ a ‘place?’

A space is defined by its geographical or physical boundaries – natural borders, city limits, political wards or the four walls of a building, for example. 

So what turns a space into a place? Partly, it’s about how everything fits together within that space – physical infrastructure, transport networks, social infrastructure, communities, activities, the natural environment and what makes that space liveable. Crucially, it’s also about how people and their experiences help shape that place, interact with it and add meaning to it. It’s about the stories we create in those spaces and the stories we tell about it. 

In short, Place = Space + Meaning.

The role of culture in place

Quality of life is invariably improved by access to culture, whether it is provided by performing arts venues, cinemas, libraries, heritage settings or museums, or any other creative space. Similarly, cultural activities and events can help tell stories about place, celebrate pride in place and create a shared sense of belonging to a place. 

So if Place = Space + Meaning, culture has a crucial role in helping shape, enhance or share that meaning. 

Deep dive

Ready to dive deeper? Register now for our short, self-directed online courses, launching in June 2024:

About this website

CulturalPlacemaking.com has been created to share knowledge, provide inspiration, tools, resources and guidance to help support and promote best practice in cultural placemaking. It has been developed by dedicated and passionate individuals with long track records in regenerating towns and cities through culture and heritage. Content and resources on this site has been carefully curated and features case studies, knowledge and learning from local authorities and leading cultural practitioners nationally and internationally. 

The site is supported by Arts Council England, with additional content provided through the Cultural Development Fund (CDF) Network, supported by Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

No Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been used in writing or creating any content on this site. 

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