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Community Matters Placemaking Conf Call Notes 2.10.11

Community Matters Placemaking Conf Call Notes 2.10.11

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Published by CommunityMatters
Notes from a conference call on Placemaking, featuring Ethan Kent of the Project for Public Spaces and Paul Dreher of Newport, VT. www.communitymatters.org
Notes from a conference call on Placemaking, featuring Ethan Kent of the Project for Public Spaces and Paul Dreher of Newport, VT. www.communitymatters.org

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Published by: CommunityMatters on Feb 11, 2011
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 www.communitymatters.orgPlacemaking Conference Call Notes 2/10/11
Conference Call Notes
Thursday, February 10, 2011, 4-5pm EST
We used a live version of this document to collaboratively add questions, collect thoughts, and transcribe important talking points, before, during and after the Placemaking conference call. You can access this document via this link: 
Bonnie Shaw 
, Partner,BYO Consulting, LLC
Ethan Kent
, Vice President, Project for Public Spaces –http://www.pps.org 
Paul Dreher
, Planning and Zoning Director, City of Newport, VT –http://www.kevaco.com/NEWPORTVERMONT/ 
15mins – Introduction to Placemaking
35mins – Open for questions/discussion
10mins – What actions can you take?
Call IntroductionsEthan Kent:
Placemaking = the Community is the expert
 When you focus on place, you do everything differently 
It requires broader set of skills than any one person can hold
The urban disciplines are becoming Facilitators
It takes a community to create a place and a place to create a community 
5 trends in PPS Placemaking:
- biggest limiting factor is how a community relate to itstransport infrastructure
Local Economies
- healthy food hubs, a combination of public markets,farmers markets, etc
 Architecture of Place
- The role of architecture is to create greatdestinations, not just create beautiful objects - focus on civic buildings,libraries, community anchors
Multi-Use Destinations
- places set up for public purposes first andforemost
Lighter Quicker Cheaper
- shorter low cost projects, test ideas thatcan be made permanent later - how can we help communities buildthemselves
 www.communitymatters.orgPlacemaking Conference Call Notes 2/10/11
Paul Dreher:
The first thing an FBC process asks the community is how it sees itself, what it wants to be, and what are the places it wants to see and replicate?
FBC emphasizes the form of the public realm and the buildings. “Goodform promotes varied, multiple-use places.”
“Every place has a DNA” and you can code that DNA through a Form- based code. A code creates a form on which Placemaking can occur.
Questions and Discussion
occurring on the call and simultaneously in the Googledoc
 What have you found to be the most productive questions to ask citizens or exercises to do with citizens to get them thinking about thefuture of their community and placemaking?
(Laura Pfeifer)
PPS has two resources on this topic: “The Power of 10” and “The PlaceGame.”
Ethan: “A great place has at least 10 reasons to be in it.” People can oftencome up with those reasons or uses if you press them on it. Asking peopleto come up with those taps into their wisdom.http://www.pps.org/articles/the-power-of-10/ 
The Place Game is a set of questions that gets people to step back fromtheir single issue or area of expertise and see how a place performs from aseries of perspectives. Asks what people like or dislike about a place, whatthey could do to improve it, etc. www.pps.org/pdf/livemem_placegame.pdf  
Paul uses similar tools in small New England towns - contacting as many people as possible through various means, asking them to show up, andthen physically take them out on the street and ask them to talk aboutplaces they like, what make them great places, etc. “The moment you startto say, ‘I’m listening to you,’ they respond.”
 What would happen if we incorporated “time” into the Powerof 10?
I have often thought that destinations can be attractive if thechange over time - so that you see something new every time you visit(though stability is good too.)(Stafford)
It seems like many Placemaking projects are in urban areas. Is there adifference between Placemaking in small towns and big cities? More broadly, are there certain types of communities or characteristics thatare particularly well suited (or poorly-suited) to Placemaking?
 (Rebecca Stone)
The blog post says “’Placemaking’ is both an overarching idea and ahands-on tool” - how do you get people to move from thinking todoing?
Can a town that is predominantly a suburb still create “places”? Whatabout towns that are known only as the place where stripdevelopment or malls are? Can we create great places there? How?
 www.communitymatters.orgPlacemaking Conference Call Notes 2/10/11
Form based codes were designed specifically to tackle the challenges of the suburbs
The suburbs are outreaching to us! How do we get that crossroads feelingagain?
“Sprawl repair”
 What should ideally come first--programming/policy or design?
 (Andrew Deci)
 Are placemaking initiatives more likely to succeed if they aregrassroots generated or initiated by planningstaff/governments/decision makers?
(Andrew Deci)
Please also further explain form-based codes… What is form basedcode and why is it important?
“A form-based code (FBC) is a means of regulating development toachieve a specific urban form. Form-based codes create a predictablepublic realm by controlling physical form primarily, with a lesser focus onland use, through city or county regulations.”
See Wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Form-based_code
See Form-Based Codes Institute:http://www.formbasedcodes.org/ 
Should form based codes and place making always go hand-in-hand?In other words, does a form-based code ensure one is creating greatplaces or do we need more?
Is ‘placemaking’ a tool to build social capital, or is it a product of acommunity with healthy social capital? Or both? Do we need to focuson building social capital through programming first, and then deal with design and places?
(Andrew Deci)
Social Capital:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_capitalandhttp://www.bowlingalone.com/ 
PPS uses the term “place capital” - the idea that investing in place may bea way to build social capital
In Newport, creating a new code was most important as a way to buildcapacity, community strength, identity and involvement.
How does new technologies integrate into Placemaking? How are youcollecting data or engaging in open data? How can this informPlacemaking?
Digital Placemaking
- crowd sourcing placemaking efforts, sharing withan international audience.
Bristol Rising uses a Ning site to connect people online -http://bristolrising.com/ 
Keypad polling -http://www.planitex.org/tool/keypad-polling
Google Sketchup -http://sketchup.google.com/ 
Survey Monkey -http://www.surveymonkey.com/great, easy way (reasonably priced!) to deploy a survey to an entire community andreceive the data in an easy way to digest and share
Use Google maps as an open tool to let people identify and share placesthat they like -http://maps.google.com 

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