Through existing networks, such as The City at Eye Level, re:Kreators, New Europe, the Placemaking Leadership Council and others, we - a body of individuals passionate to bolster inclusivity and relatedness in urban environments, have been working for many years with practitioners all over the world, creating better cities and great places. In October 2017, during Placemaking Week Amsterdam, the idea to start a European Placemaking Network was born.
We trust our combined efforts and knowledge to instrumentally impact our respective environments, and even further, to initiate and achieve shared projects across Europe. We need the network, not only to foster an understanding of what makes a good PLACE, but also, how we can help create exceptional places by connecting diverse groups of people and initiatives, from placemakers, practitioners, universities and cities to developers and other networks that influence urban development.
How people connect to a place is fundamental for human scale, for interaction, for innovation, for a healthy and joyful life, and for a sustainable living environment. Placemaking is fun. Placemaking is fundamental. Placemaking is quicker, lighter, cheaper – placemaking is a shared investment for the long term.
During Placemaking Week Amsterdam in October 2017, we brought together partners representing 20 European and non-European countries to discuss steps forward in the placemaking field, and importantly, the network’s potential. Parties varied in scale and focus- from Project for Public Spaces (PPS) to Future of Places, from UN Habitat to civil servants, from consultancies to academic partners.
Moving forward, in 2018, we brought the network to the next level at the Cities for All Conference in Stockholm. This was the official launching moment for the network. Since then, the network has grown rapidly and robustly. The Facebook group is dynamic- we use each other's knowledge in conferences, inspirational sessions, and as advice in our own practices. We work together in projects throughout Europe and beyond. We organize trainings like our annual City at Eye Level training in the Netherlands. We cooperate with like-minded networks globally.
Now, in 2019, we are keen to continue developing the European Placemaking Network as a active resource for ‘zealous nuts’ throughout Europe and beyond. Come June 2019, we are hosting, with La Marina de Valencia, STIPO, and PLC, Placemaking Week Europe in Valencia.