How can developers create vibrant places that bring people together to live, work, play, and hang out? Members of ULI’s new Placemaking Council discuss the value of bringing the notion of placemaking to development, the strategies for setting up placemaking projects that will thrive, the obstacles that can get in the way of success, common misperceptions about placemaking, and related trends.
A ULI Advisory Services panel toured South Sacramento, California, in September, meeting with more than 75 city and county officials, local business leaders, residents, and other stakeholders. The four sponsors—Sacramento Regional Transit, Sacramento Council of Governments, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District—asked the ULI advisory panel to outline a plan for kick-starting a retrofit of the two transit-adjacent neighborhoods into transit-oriented neighborhoods. Their goals were to promote equitable, healthy, and inclusive community development that fosters job and income growth, housing options, and healthy neighborhood amenities with more convenient access to transit, retail, and services.
Developers are snatching up aging golf course properties—many closed or losing money—with an eye toward combining housing with other uses while often trying to preserve at least some of the greenery for community use.
The following ten projects in the Asia Pacific region—all completed during the past five years—include restored headlands, contaminated canals and marshes cleaned up to serve as wildlife habitats, and a row of parking spaces revamped as a piazza.
Development professionals from Detroit, Houston, Atlanta, and San Antonio discussed how they reclaimed desolate space with art, parks, and public/private partnerships to revitalize riverfronts and neighborhoods.
In early March, the city of San Antonio celebrated the opening of a new park. Named Confluence Park, it sits on about 3.5 acres (1.4 ha) where two major rivers meet. The park—a former construction storage yard—was ten years in the making, costing about $13 million.
In Detroit, as in many cities across the United States, a distinctive type of open space—the urban garden—has emerged as another type of civic asset.
Thoughtful placemaking is fundamental to the success of any economically and socially viable city. Detroit’s downtown parks are both public assets and important attractions throughout each of Michigan’s four seasons.
Since 2004, over $1 billion has been invested in redevelopment and new construction in downtown Cincinnati and the adjacent Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Representatives from Erie, Pennsylvania; St. Louis; and Atlanta have visited the city in the last year to see how a combination of nonprofit redevelopment, historic preservation, land banking, and strategic acquisitions, funded by tax credits and corporate investments, have turned things around.
Can the city create a healthier, less automobile-centric environment by closing more streets to traffic?