Placemaking helps create active public spaces that promote people's health, happiness, and well-being. Ultimately, communities that implement active placemaking activities, tend to have stronger local economies. When people are happy and comfortable, they tend to spend more money on local businesses and attractions. Current planning practices tend to undervalue design, as it relates to placemaking and the pedestrian experience. Instead traditional planning and design focus on creating environments that are navigable by vehicle reducing the opportunities for community building and socializing with other residents.
The quality of walking conditions depend on ensuring that design features are to human scale, comfortable and safe.Some elements that promote walkability and therefore placemaking include outdoor seating, window transparency, trees and landscaping separating motor vehicle traffic from people walking, street parking, slow traffic speeds, ground floor local retail businesses, awnings, bike racks, trash cans, parklets and art – the really important concept is to create a connection between pedestrians and merchants.
In addition to streetscape design features, pedestrian activity is also highly reliant on the
percentage of active uses, defined as shops, restaurants, public parks or parklets and other uses that generate significant pedestrian traffic within the walkable proximity of a quarter mile. A quarter
mile was selected as a standard walking distance, because at distances greater than a quarter
mile walk frequency drops off rapidly.
A parklet is a sidewalk extension that provides more space and amenities for people using the street. Parklets typically extend out from the sidewalk at the level of the sidewalk to the width of the adjacent parking space.Usually parklets are installed for restaurant dining and outdoor seating. Parklets can provide a variety of social, recreational and financial benefits to the citizens and business of Trinity County.
Public art is one of the most undervalued placemaking strategies, yet Public art has one of the highest returns on investment in creating complexity within the built environment. Public Art can help express a community's unique culture and history or celebrate it’s diversity. Public art can create a unique sense of place that residents and visitors promote on social media.
Interactive Public Art
Interactive public art takes the concept of public art one step further, by both providing a visually stimulating form AND providing residents and pedestrians with something to do in public space, interactive public art has the ability to make our public space more active, vibrant, and engaging. Interactive public art also creates a more vibrant, connected destination; one that brings together different people, communities, and neighborhoods.