LPI's Mark Wyckoff Authors Article on Four Different Types of Placemaking

This article delves into four types of placemaking and features examples of projects and activities in each area, as well as in-depth comparison tables and graphics to help readers select the best approach to meet their objectives.

Mark Wyckoff, from the Land Policy Institute and the Planning & Zoning Center at MSU

In the January edition of the Planning & Zoning News (PZN)Mark Wyckoff, editor of PZN, Senior Associate Director of the Land Policy Institute (LPI) and Director of the Planning & Zoning Center, authored an article, titled the "Definition of Placemaking: Four Different Types." He wrote this article specifically to address several common questions:

  • What is the definition of placemaking?
  • What distinguishes different types of placemaking?
  • When should different types of placemaking be used?

According to Wyckoff, "Placemaking is catching on as another way to improve the quality of various places in a neighborhood, and by extension, the community and region in which those places are located. However, the myriad uses of the term are sometimes confusing and contradictory, and this dilutes the value of the concept and undermines its utility in helping neighborhoods and communities imagine and create a better future."

This topic was previously explored in the November 2010 issue of Planning & Zoning News, based on research by others, as well as considerable research at LPI. "That article (among other things)," Wyckoff says, "identified the origins of the concepts that are fundamental to placemaking and the use of the term by architects, urban planners and urban designers beginning in the 1970's."

"Definition of Placemaking" highlights a typology comprised of four types of placemaking: Standard Placemaking, Strategic Placemaking, Creative Placemaking and Tactical Placemaking. It features examples of projects and activities in each area. Additionally, the article offers comparison tables of the placemaking types, and offers insight as to which approach is best suited to be used for achieving particular objectives. A Placemaking Decision Flow Chart will help readers select the best approach.

Questions about this article may be addressed to Mark Wyckoff at wyckoff@landpolicy.msu.edu.

This article was produced in support of the MIplace Partnership Initiative.

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