Placemaking is an approach to urban planning that foundationally is about the inhabitants. By using unutilized space and make citizens a part of the planning process, cities can become a place of well-being, togetherness and inclusion.

Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Placemaking is both a process and a philosophy that makes use of urban design principles. Good placemaking makes use of underutilized space to enhance the urban experience at the pedestrian scale to build habits of locals.

An important aspect of placemaking is considering inputs from the community for which the public space is intended. Members of the community are likely to have useful insights into how the space does – or should – function. Inhabitants also have an understanding of what does and do not matter to other members of the community.

Designed Living Environment

In May 2018, a unique decision was taken in the Swedish Parliament. As one of the few countries in the world, Sweden adopted a new, comprehensive policy for what is known as Designed Living Environment. Designed Living Environment concerns everything around us: residential buildings, schools and hospitals, but also the public space with parks, streets and squares. The political goal is clear: that architecture and design should contribute to a sustainable society where everyone is included and are able to influence the common environment. In other words, there is a clear movement where architecture creates benefits and content and is not confined to the surface. A square is much more than open space and the street network in a city not only controls how traffic runs.

Cultural identity & Civil dialogue

The cultural identity of a neighbourhood includes people with different backgrounds, tastes, experiences, diversity and talents, as well as their expectations for their future.

Cultural Planning draws attention to the first stage to the specific local resources and then develops a plan based on these. The integration of cultural planning means that it is present from the beginning, not added at the end.

By letting citizens in at an early stage, before the formal planning process has begun and positions are made, the municipality can capture important issues and increase the quality of the plan. This may include, for example, how people use an area and what ecosystem services they use and need. The National Board of Housing, Building and Planning has developed a guide for civil dialogue in spatial planning and housing influence.

The child perspective: a new element in urban planning

In order to ensure that the rights of children and young people are taken into account in community planning, the Government has mandated the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning to examine the practical application. The assignment consists of two parts: the authority’s internal work to increase employees’ knowledge of children’s rights, about the CRC and how both should be taken into account in decisions and actions. The second part regards examining how municipalities and county councils work to comply with the CRC in community planning.


Related Best Practices

Pilot for sustainable energy system: the island of Gotland

Pilot for sustainable energy system: the island of Gotland

The island of Gotland has been chosen as a pilot region for Sweden’s transition to the future sustainable energy system. The main requirements for this transition are a safe and reliable energy supply that is both ecologically sustainable and economically competitive.

World’s First Recycling Mall – ReTuna

World’s First Recycling Mall – ReTuna

ReTuna Återbruksgalleria is the world’s first recycling mall, revolutionizing shopping in a climate-smart way. Old items are given new life through repair and upcycling. Everything sold is recycled or reused or has been organically or sustainably produced.

Electric busses adapted to cold climate

Electric busses adapted to cold climate

It is a big challenge with electric vehicles in northern Europe is to adapt them to the cold climate, both in regard to function and comfort for passengers and drivers. In Umeå in Northern Sweden there is a company that has managed to develop a technology that makes it possible to run the buses even during a very cold winter day as well as a hot sunny day with advanced air heating/cold system.

One of the world’s tallest wooden building

One of the world’s tallest wooden building

Sara Cultural Centre – one of the world’s tallest timber building is located in Skellefteå, just below the Artic Circel in the northern Sweden. The building will be housing venues for arts, performance and meetings as well as a hotel.


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