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.


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