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Hawthorne Canal MosaicsPlacemaking is an integrated approach to creating liveable public places and spaces for people. It requires both a planned and flexible approach to place planning, which allows the spirit of a place and the people who use it, to animate and contribute to the space. It works with what is present at a locale, and defines what is required to enhance and develop its unique character. In best practice examples, Placemaking allows a variety of uses to occur in spaces that satisfy a number of stakeholder needs. Effectively diverse, yet cohesive spaces, make for more interesting spaces.


What is Placemaking?

Placemaking is like homemaking, but it is a practice that is located in public space. Placemaking recognises that homely spaces nurture us, therefore it is deeply connected to our sense of wellbeing. Placemaking turns a space into a place, and is the art of creating memorable, and transformative experiences in public space. It is aligned with Urban Design Principles, and envisages ways to design, regenerate and activate spaces to suit the users. This can mean in some instances accommodating a range of users for a range of activities.     

Importantly effective placemaking allows a shared history of a space to develop over time.                                                                                                                              

It requires restraint on the part of planners, design professionals and specific interest groups to allow space for the contribution of artists, historians and the wider community. Placemaking understands that people are attracted to spaces for a multiplicity of reasons, and this multiplicity needs to reflected through the integration of the multiple stories and histories that lie at the heart of places.

Social inclusion 

Placemaking appreciates that not only are our high streets important commercial centres, they are also important meeting points for all manner of social exchanges. Inclusion and social equity are integral to effective space planning so that our high streets, town centres, parks, foreshores do not alienate individuals or groups. 

"The critical issue is the role of culture in the making of community." Jon Hawkes - The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability (2001)

Placemaking invites community participation, and values it as a vital component for developing successful initiatives and projects, aiming to build on community strengths and capabilities. 


Public Art Policy

Council recently adopted its first Public Art Policy, which is comprehensively enriched by the principles of Placemaking.
The Public Art Policy was built on the consultation processes of Council, demonstrating an approach to inclusive place planning and public art programming, allowing the community a proactive channel through which to actively interpret, transform and contribute to public space. This Policy will guide Council and the community on developing innovative initiatives to define public spaces as welcoming and safe, and plan against spaces that are alienating. It is important that the Policy makes explicit the process by which Placemaking explores the multiplicity of meaning inherent in place, and explores the narrative of the communities that use the space. The Public Art Policy will set the scope by which public space will be infused with a sense of place that also reflects the spirit of the communities that use them.   

Placemaking Projects

Rozelle Hoardings Art Project thumb
Rozelle Hoardings Art Project
Workshops to develop a design for the hoarding at Rozelle.
Looking for Leichhardt
Looking for Leichhardt Exhibition
A series of author talks, discussions, workshops and artworks by four artists who followed in the steps of Leichhardt's 1844-45 expedition.
Hay Street Car Park
Hay Street Car Park is a funded program to create amenable spaces with art.
Placemaking - Hawthorne Canal Project
Hawthorne Canal Mosaic Mural
The Hawthorne Canal Mosaic Mural consists of 44 panels located in a 112 square metre pedestrian tunnel near Hawthorne Canal in Leichhardt.
Birrung Art Space
Birrung Art Space
An art space designed to foster creativity and reduce graffiti.
IWC logo
Generator Series
A series of community workshops and activities to inform the development of it Community and Cultural Plan.
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Pop In Space Mark II
A public space for arts and culture projects. Submit a proposal today.