Rescue Earth System

Public Places / Placemaking

Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value.

Public Places / Placemaking

Solving Social and Environmental Challenges

With community-based participation at its center, an effective commoning / placemaking process capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, and it results in the creation of quality public spaces that contribute to people’s health, happiness, and well being.

As Peter Linebaugh says, “There is no commons without commoning”

What is Placemaking / Commoning?

Placemaking — includes commoning — inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value.

More than just promoting better urban design, placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution towards a ‘true’ commons. However, commons as a concept and in practice, are ancient and exist worldwide.

Commoning can be found in any imaginable social context and connected to various resources – such as air, seeds and water but also caring for those in need, digital technology, housing, cooking, art and music, modular bicycle construction and means of production.

Commoning is the act of mutual support, conflict resolution, negotiation, communication and experimentation that are needed to create systems to manage shared resources — the commons. This process blends production (self-provisioning), governance, culture, and personal interests into one integrated system.

Currently, commons can be understood as a concept based on equality and self-governance that is in conflict with the capitalist logic of commodities. Instead of an exchange of goods it relies on voluntary contributions. In them, there is no equivalent to the division of labour into care activities (that is caring for other people and the environment) and the productive activities as well as the division of production and usage processes which are common in capitalism: for example urban commons gardens are usually not about producing food for sale but, next to ecological food production, also about cooking, eating and celebrating together.

This is due to the fact that it is not inherent to the nature of a resource whether or not it is a commons. Instead it essentially depends on the way humans deal with them and with each other.

Today, the research on the shared use of natural resources is mainly connected to the name Elinor Ostrom who received the Nobel Prize for economics for her research in 2009. Ostrom collected best practice examples: self-chosen regulations and locally adapted conflict resolution strategies were some of the design principles of the long-lasting self-governed institutions she described. Differing from Ostrom other authors assume that the main shared features should be looked for in the actual social arrangement, the commoning, rather than in the institutions and regulations.

Community Co-operatives, Community Food Gardens and Public Places (Placemaking / Commoning)

What if we built our communities around places?

As both an overarching idea and a hands-on approach for improving a neighbourhood, city, or region, placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value. More than just promoting better urban design, placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.

When PPS surveyed people about what placemaking means to them, we found that it is a crucial and deeply-valued process for those who feel intimately connected to the places in their lives. Placemaking shows people just how powerful their collective vision can be. It helps them to re-imagine everyday spaces, and to see anew the potential of parks, downtowns, waterfronts, plazas, neighborhoods, streets, markets, campuses and public buildings.

Placemaking is not a new idea.

Although PPS began consistently using the term “placemaking” in the mid-1990s to describe our approach, some of the thinking behind Placemaking gained traction in the 1960s, when PPS mentors like Jane Jacobs and William H. Whyte introduced groundbreaking ideas about designing cities for people, not just cars and shopping centers. Their work focuses on the social and cultural importance of lively neighborhoods and inviting public spaces: Jacobs encouraged everyday citizens to take ownership of streets through the now-famous idea of “eyes on the street,” while Holly Whyte outlined key elements for creating vibrant social life in public spaces. Applying the wisdom of these (and other) urban pioneers, since 1975 PPS has gradually developed a comprehensive

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Placemaking Approach

Placemaking is both a process and a philosophy. It is centered around observing, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work, and play in a particular space in order to understand their needs and aspirations for that space and for their community as a whole. With this knowledge, we can come together to create a common vision for that place. The vision can evolve quickly into an implementation strategy, beginning with small-scale “Lighter Quicker Cheaper” improvements that bring immediate benefits both to the spaces themselves and the people who use them.

When you focus on place, you do everything differently

Unfortunately, the rigid planning processes of the 20th century have become so institutionalized that community stakeholders rarely have the chance to voice their own ideas and aspirations about the places they inhabit. Placemaking can break down these silos by showing planners, designers, and engineers the broad value of moving beyond the narrow focus of their own professions, disciplines, agendas. Experience has shown us that when developers and planners welcome this kind of grassroots involvement, they spare themselves a lot of headaches. Common problems like traffic-dominated streets, little-used parks, and isolated or underperforming development projects can be addressed—or altogether avoided—by embracing a model of placemaking that views a place in its entirety, rather than zeroing in on isolated components.

Key Principles of Placemaking

The PPS placemaking approach can be a springboard for community revitalization. Emerging from forty years of practice, our 11 Principles of Placemaking offer guidelines to help communities (1) integrate diverse opinions into a cohesive vision, (2) translate that vision into a plan and program of uses, and (3) ensure the sustainable implementation of the plan. Turning a shared vision into a reality–into a truly great place–means finding the patience to take small steps, to truly listen, and to see what works best in a particular context.

Just as community input is essential to the placemaking process, it is equally important to have a mutual understanding of the ways in which great places foster successful social networks and benefit multiple stakeholders and initiatives at once. The 11 Principles, along with and other tools we’ve developed for improving places (such as the Power of 10), have helped citizens bring immense changes to their communities–changes that are often far more extensive than the original vision had imagined.

RE allocation to projects in the Rescue Earth System

We need to sequester around 3 Quadrillion kilograms of CO2 from the atmosphere (and the oceans) and put most of the carbon in the soil — a total of 3 Quadrillion RE will be issued. With volunteer time allocations being 500 Trillion RE, 2 500 Trillion RE are allocated to funded actions / interventions that earn pRE, dRE and bRE.

Funded actions / interventions are staffed by volunteers but the costs of materials, etc. are paid for. Funded actions / interventions are an integral component of our 20+ Collaborative Action Initiatives and the UN SDGs. 1 unit of pRE, dRE and bRE, costs of $0.02 (R0.30)

pRE (1 Quadrillion)

pRE are patron RESCUE. pRE are allocated to …

dRE (1 Quadrillion)

dRE are donor RESCUE. dRE are allocated to …

bRE (500 Trillion)

bRE are business RESCUE. bRE are allocated to …

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