The Power of Placemaking
Learn more about the unique role that community-led placemaking initiatives play in cultivating collective wellbeing.
Download the report and accompanying resources to make your own case for placemaking!
The Power of Placemaking includes several resources that we invite you to explore below. You are welcome to download and use these resources in any way that you see fit in order to help make the case for placemaking:
Our intention is to support your efforts in leading community-led placemaking initiatives. We encourage you to reuse, remix, and build upon the resources in whatever capacity suits you. Please credit the Healthy Communities Initiative and Happy Cities when sharing, so that we can shine a spotlight on your placemaking projects and initiatives!
The Power of Placemaking Research Snapshots show the impacts of placemaking on our individual and collective wellbeing. This downloadable and visually-accessible document explores six key themes that illustrate the connections between wellbeing and placemaking.
Taken together, the evidence and stories shared in these snapshots provide a rich and multi-layered insight into the impacts of community-led placemaking. These resources can also be explored and downloaded by theme in .jpeg format to use for your own purposes.
People with strong social relationships are happier, healthier, and live 15 years longer on average than those who feel lonely and isolated. Placemaking can initiate conversations among strangers and strengthen community connections.
Placemaking encourages walking, rolling, biking, play, and new social connections—all contributing to a healthy lifestyle.
Vibrant places draw more foot traffic, generating customers and income for businesses. Thriving local businesses contribute to a more resilient community, creating jobs and activities for residents.
People of different genders, races, ages, and abilities have different experiences in public spaces. Co-created spaces and events help ensure that everyone’s needs are met.
People who feel a strong sense of belonging are healthier, more productive, more trusting, and live longer. And when people are involved in shaping community spaces—such as painting a mural or organizing a block party—they are more likely to feel a sense of care for these places.
Placemaking can directly address climate action, such as through emergency preparedness or gardening projects. When people participate, they build social ties that strengthen resilience—day-to-day and in a crisis. And, they consider solutions that work for their local community.
Between June and September 2023, we hosted eight online sessions with practitioners and community members from across the country.
The sessions connected over 100 people to share their experiences and lessons learned and explore the impact of placemaking projects. Participants included city staff, funders, businesses, community organizations, and people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities—many of whom had received funding from HCI.
A diversity of projects were shared, from rural to urban settings, online and in person, and showcasing a range of creative place-based projects. Download the summary report to learn about the insights gained from these sessions!
This session, hosted by Happy Cities, shares highlights of learnings from the project (including evidence and stories from the snapshot and summary report). Happy Cities is joined by Missions Exeko (Montreal), Rethink Red Deer (Red Deer) and OurCommunityBikes (Vancouver), three community organizations who led projects funded by the Healthy Communities Initiative. The opening presentation provides an opportunity to discover some of the learnings from the report, while the conversation with practitioners provides a taste of the stories. As an overview of the Power of Placemaking project, we invite you to watch the session!
If you are interested in placemaking—as a practitioner, organization, business, or community member—then these resources are for you. We invite you to participate in an ongoing conversation around the power of placemaking.
Connect with Canada’s Placemaking Community, signing up for the monthly newsletter, sharing a story, contributing to a community toolbox of resources, or submitting or viewing upcoming events
The Power of Placemaking project was conducted in partnership with Happy Cities—an urban planning and design consultancy specializing in placemaking. Happy Cities works across disciplines to turn evidence into action for happier, healthier, and more inclusive communities. Want to learn more?