The intersection of placemaking and planning : examining city placemaking programs and efforts
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Many progressive cites are currently seeking to institutionalize programs and promote policy that develops and implements placemaking and neighborhood streetscape programs; however, cities lack a clear process to follow in developing new programs with all of the foundational elements in place for successful implementation and city planning outcomes. This Professional Report actively informs current development of a “Streets as Places” program at the City of Austin; research and recommendations will be drawn from the cities of San Francisco, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Memphis, four nationally recognized cities that provide strong models for placemaking programs. This report will address the question: What components enabled these four cities to develop successful placemaking and streetscape programs and how can the City of Austin and other cities use these models in the development of their own placemaking programs? This report draws upon case study research, including online research, data collection via phone and email, and interviews with key staff and partner organizations in each city. This report finds that both government-initiated placemaking activities and community-led placemaking efforts struggle with the challenges of policy gaps, creating comprehensive plans and programs that have a broad base of understanding and support, and working through regulatory barriers that exist in city government. Furthermore, all cities cited the importance of authentic community leadership and engagement for project success. To advance to the level of San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Memphis, a Streets as Places Program at the City of Austin will need support by city official, city management, and policy and legislation that comes from the top – the City Manager and City Council – as well as community support and engagement that comes from the bottom.
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