For those of you not familiar with placemaking, it’s broadly about being more creative in the way we treat and interact with our public spaces in order to create a community that is more inviting, more interesting, more stimulating, more comfortable, more vibrant and more fun. The Council has elected to pursue placemaking because it understands that when people love a place/places this adds enormous social and economic value to a community, an outcome that is core to the role of Local Government. Livingstone Shire Council launched the Placemaking Program in 2017. You can find out more about placemaking and the scope of Council's goals in the Placemaking Strategy Document.
Placemaking can be anything but commonly includes elements such as public art, landscaping, lighting, seating, play features, pedestrian pathways, activities and events. The goal of placemaking is to get the most community benefit out of public spaces through tweaking what’s already there and through the installation of creative new features. Placemaking can be applied to publicly or privately controlled and managed properties. It is not something that Council does on its own or does ‘to’ the community; it is something that we all do together. The main objective of placemaking is to make people linger longer, smile more, engage more, contemplate, feel good about the space they’re in, to come back and to love their community.
What does it achieve?
- Activates public spaces by transforming them in ways people relate best to; being more appealing, surprising, activating and engaging
- Makes people 'Love the Place!'
- Enhances individual and community wellbeing
- Creates community identity and pride
- Enhances property values and investment interest
The best way to think about placemaking is to think about your own home. We call our home “our place” and we put a lot of effort into shaping it to suit our needs and preferences so that it is in fact “our place.” This is “placemaking.” Simply apply that same principle to the public domain, the space where everyone interacts; that is the broader form of placemaking, the process of shaping public space/s into place/s to capture and define who we are collectively as a community, celebrating ourselves and leveraging our assets to their maximum potential. We have favourite chairs, nooks, artwork, plants and so forth at home. Placemaking seeks to create these same “favourite” spaces in a public setting.
Why do it?
- People love it; quality places create happy, healthy, engaged community members
- Quality places retain and attract residents, tourists and businesses
- Placemaking is extremely effective in maximising social and economic returns to the community
- It provides considerable value for money and effort
- Quality places are essential for preserving and developing the quintessential character of localities
- Quality places create community identity, so supporting more effective community branding and marketing
Although it is Council’s intent to apply placemaking across the Shire, only the Yeppoon Town Centre has so far been evaluated in depth meaning that most early placemaking initiatives will be focused on Yeppoon. Specific placemaking strategies are being developed for Emu Park and Causeway Lake and the rest of the Shire will follow. While the emphasis is on Yeppoon, placemaking initiatives are being carried our throughout the rest of the Shire, as evidenced by art interventions
at Emu Park and Kemp Beach.
A community survey to seek input on placemaking options was undertaken prior to adoption of the Placemaking Strategy. Community feedback from the survey was overwhelmingly positive and subsequent verbal and social media feedback on implemented initiatives has been equally favourable. Council is keen to keep communication lines open so your views and suggestions regarding completed placemaking projects and future priorities are always welcome by emailing email@example.com.
Council's role in the implementation of the Placemaking Strategy is to:
- Lead by example
- Inform the community about the scope and benefits of placemaking
- Work collaboratively with the community in pursuing placemaking opportunites
- Empower the community to develop private placemaking initiatives
- Support the evolution of a Council culture of innovation and creativity
- Apply placemaking principles wherever and whenever possible
- Adopt a collaborative approach to the development and implementation of placemaking initiatives, internal and external
- Identify opportunities and ensure these are incorporated into project and program design
- Provide for future opportunities
To be effective, Placemaking needs to:
- Involve local people
- Be authentic and meaningful
- Treasure, highlight and promote the defining characteristics of the community
- Respond to the essential character of each locality by creating diverse distinctive experiences
- Be creative, context relevant, inspirational and memorable
- Be physically attractive and intellectually stimulating
- Be a continuous endeavour
How can community members connect with the Council on Placemaking?
As previously stated, placemaking is a whole of community initiative. Anyone can “place-make” (or make place) at any time on their own property and the Council hopes that the community will embrace this attitude. Council also wants creative locals to provide their services in the delivery of local placemaking initiatives. To this end, creative community members are invited to submit their credentials and project ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org (Click here for the Expression of Interest for Placemaking Projects document) Council wants to know the skill sets available in the community and how these might be used for the production of placemaking initiatives. So artists, craftspeople, metal workers, wood workers, lighting specialists, event promoters and other artisans, please let us know who you are and what your inspired specialties are.
Community members may also engage with the Council via the Placemaking Reference Group (PRG). The PRG has been formed to foster ongoing public-private collaboration on placemaking. The PRG is comprised of a mix of community and Council representatives, whose role is to:
- provide guidance to both the Council and community on key placemaking directions, priorities and key initiatives affecting the public domain,
- assist in shaping and vetting placemaking ideas,
- assist in promoting placemaking within the community and educating different sectors about what placemaking is, its purpose and benefits, and
- nurture the initiation and management of placemaking actions and activities “by and for” the community
Ever wondered how the Yeppoon Lagoon Pelicans came to be? All those colourful murals around the region? Or why that sneaky Octopus occupies a park bench on Normanby Street? Perhaps you have sat in one of our many park areas and taken a moment to appreciate the serenity of an urban green space. These are all part of Livingstone’s Placemaking Strategy, intended to create a community that is more inviting, more interesting, more stimulating, more comfortable, more vibrant and more fun.
Would you like to play a role in continuing this process of enriching our environment?
If you have a background or strong interest in art, urban design, landscape design, placemaking or some other creative vocation perhaps you should consider joining the Placemaking Reference Group (PRG) and be involved with what comes next in the placemaking program! Council is currently seeking expressions of interest from appropriately qualified and motivated community members to join the PRG.
Click here for the Expression of Interest for Placemaking Reference Group Membership.
If you are interested in helping Livingstone continue its placemaking journey by joining the Placemaking Reference Group, please submit your expression of interest, addressing the criteria in the document linked above, to email@example.com.