Placemaking in the world
As relocalisation and community action gain momentum globally placemaking is making its way into greater spheres of thought and action, becoming more widely accepted and valued. This in part is due to wider acknowledgement of the large scale action required to address climate change and economic security.
At Village Well we champion the belief that we are (re)connecting people with place, and we want to facilitate the creation of inspired, sustainable, creative, diverse and empowered communities.
Through the rapid development of the past century we have rationalised what is around us as spaces rather than places to be segregated, quantified, industrialized, and profited from. This has seen accelerated growth, the rapid evolution of civilization, the standard of living increased infinitely (for some). It has also seen a great loss ecologically, socially and culturally. It has seen an incredible stretch between the world’s richest and poorest, educated and not, healthy and unhealthy. The connection to place and each other has become secondary whilst population increases at a rate of knots.
Rather than people, we are production units; rather than communities we are mid level densities; rather than a community centre as the heart, it is a building; rather than our closeness to a local meeting place we are primary and secondary catchments (and quantifiers of parking).
Luckily, there is an alternative, an inspiring, enjoyable and fruitful one. It turns hope and vision into action, together.
When you develop the art of placemaking you create a shared vision and shared narrative. You understand connection to your community, identification with them, and support to and from them – economically, socially and environmentally. You create a lens that these decisions of neighbourhood and action can be seen through and made from, shared by the whole community and fundamentally empower all those involved in the process.
A pathway becomes clear and a new journey created to develop and nourish a living ecosystem. This is a resilient structure and an exponential capacity to live well and benefit collectively, to integrate into our environment and build upon inspired vision and action.
We are, after all, fundamentally social beings and our connection to each other and where we live is core to our health and happiness.