Placemaking in Legacy Cities Must Be “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper”

The interview below was reposted with permission from Center for Community Progress. The original post is located here.

Center for Community Progress, a nonprofit focused on solutions for vacant properties (of which legacy cities see a lot of – upwards of 20% in some cases), has recently published Placemaking in Legacy Cities: Opportunities and Good Practices. The report explores how residents and leaders in Legacy Cities have used placemaking principles to transform blighted public spaces into revitalized community assets.

CCP recently spoke with the authors of the report, Francis Grunow and Sarah Szurpicki, to get a bit of an overview of what placemaking means in Legacy Cities. You might already be asking yourself, “What IS placemaking?” Well, let’s get started.

In short, what is placemaking?

Placemaking is a fairly new term used to describe the steps needed to achieve a very old idea. The old idea is that when people come together to form communities they often like to create great public spaces designed to express their values and connect with each another.… Read More

Remaking Cities Congress Sketches Agenda for the Post-Industrial City

bradshawhoveyBy Bradshaw Hovey

Three hundred fifty city-makers from across the United States and Europe convened in Pittsburgh last week (October 15-18) to craft an agenda – perhaps a manifesto – for the regeneration of the post-industrial city.

The outlines of the work produced by the “Remaking Cities Congress” will be familiar to supporters of the legacy cities movement: promote reuse of vacant buildings and land, support education and innovation for economic growth, improve mobility for all and address the deep inequities of opportunity and condition that rend the city fabric on both continents.

The workshop element of the conference included five themed groups each of which featured paired European and North American case studies: Bilbao & Milwaukee, the Ruhr Valley & Buffalo, Manchester-Liverpool & Greater Toronto, Rotterdam & New Orleans, Turin & Detroit.

“Propositions” that received overwhelming support from the attendees in closing “clicker” or keypad voting included:

• Invest in education to cultivate talent
• Connect the city through multi-modal mobility
• Grow entrepreneurial capacity
• Make housing adaptable and flexible
• Provide financial incentives for re-use
• Confront racism and marginalization
• Cultivate the “soul” of the city

Those preliminary results, along with extended profiles on the case study cities, will become the subject of a book on reemerging post-industrial cities for publication in 2014 or beyond.… Read More