What is Placemaking?

The place-related identity of the urban citizens and their collective re-imagination and reinvention of the spaces.A concept that refers to the practices undertaken by locals to invest in places with specific cultural characteristics.

Our Objectives

To analyze how placemaking activities re-imagine and reinvent public space and improve citizens’ involvement in urban planning as well as the role and potential of digital tools to record, transform, produce and disseminate a citizens’ knowledge about the urban spaces throughout Europe’s cities.

CA18204 - Dynamics of placemaking and digitization in
Europe´s cities

This Action will investigate how placemaking activities, like public art, civil urban design, local knowledge production re-shape and reinvent public space, and improve citizens’ involvement in urban planning and urban design. Placemaking implies the multiplication and fragmentation of agents shaping the public realm. The Action aims to empower citizens to contribute with citizen`s knowledge, digitization and placemaking to diverse ways of interpreting local identities in European cities. The added value of digitization - understood here basically as the ongoing process of converting any kind of data from an analog into a digital format – (Jannidis/Kohle/Rehbein (2018:179) will be analyzed in the ways in which it impacts urban placemaking processes of local communities. Studying urban placemaking and digital practices of various local communities throughout Europe´s cities, this Action will understand and analyze:

  1. The impact of digitization on the common placemaking practices of urban local communities,

  2. The changing processes of citizen´s local knowledge production of placemaking,

  3. The influence of digitization on the governmentality of the local neighborhoods and co-creation of public space by various societal actors.

Drawing on recent theoretical insights that point to the importance of placemaking, widening citizen´s knowledge and wider application of digitization and digital communication, the Action seeks to develop new methods for studying and comparing effects of disseminating local urban knowledge beyond cultural and societal borders. By doing so, it develops European urban research both theoretically and methodologically finding ways of channeling the results into the wider urban planning and governance processes.

COST Action Objectives

Research Coordination

  • To investigate existing (and envisioned) practices of placemaking, sharing of knowledge, developing a new agenda in placemaking based on the potential of digitization.

  • Focuses on questions related to the transfer of placemaking practices and knowledge via new media, and the role of digitization in sharing of local urban knowledges.

  • Develop new methods for studying the impact of digitization on local practices and activities aimed at citizens' participation and share in urban development and planning processes. Thus, the Action contributes to consolidating, developing and setting new agendas for the creative but fragmented field of interdisciplinary urban studies in Europe.

  • Investigate how digitization impacts urban placemaking processes of local communities and supports the urban local knowledge production in European cities. It will do so by coordinating and comparing a interdisciplinary selection of case studies of placemaking activities, connected to local knowledge production, are investigated throughout Europe

  • Go beyond the top-down analysis of the relation between local practices and urban governmentality,taking as its point of departure new theoretical insights that emphasize the importance and relevance of placemaking, citizens’ knowledge, and new media.

Capacity Building, to provide:

  • Theoretical frames and empirical data for models of integrative and participative European urban spaces

  • An open European network, a multidisciplinary team of urban researchers, planners, social scientists, art, architectural and urban historians, artists and representatives of the stakeholders (associated partners).

  • Communication of the research process and its various formats, such as workshops (organised by the WG´s) and training schools for senior researchers, young researchers and graduate students.

  • A sustanaible digital platform (WG4). The target group of the platform are both local urban stakeholders, e.g. activists and NGOs, and professionals, such as municipalities.

  • Open access to the research results and data and develops an(open-source) digital platform with e-leraning material connected to the Action´s main goals.

  • Multiple stakeholder workshops (WG1, WG2, WG3, WG4).

  • An International summer school with local stakeholders (WG1).

  • Open access publications (WG1, WG2, WG3, WG4).

  • Short-term scientific missions, like publications on the website (WG1, WG2, WG3, WG4).

Working Groups

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