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Place making and place management: new concepts for European public spaces

Coming from overseas [Australia, New Zealand and the United-States],  place making and place management propose to give back public space to people, by re-thinking the space according to users rather than design only. The INTERREG IVB project Lively Cities aims at successfully importing these new concepts and adapt them to European cities so that disrupted, underused spaces become new destinations, in the long run.

Place making and Place management will completely change the way urbanism is currently tackled in Europe. Instead of the current urban development which is traditionaly dictated by a "top-down" approach, where the authorities decide for communities, Lively Cities chooses to adopt a "bottom-up" approach, where communities are questioned about their expectations and requests on defined spaces in order to propose solutions to decisions makers. 

The Lively Cities' work has started with the identification of users and key stakeholders, the observation of surroundings, public consultations, events, online surveys, on-site and around site interviews in order to define users' needs and expectations. In 2012, different pilots will be tested: free wifi, removable furniture for users to design their own space, outdoor library, animations, public art, interactive performances... all these temporary actions will be observed in order to assess of their success or not, modify them if necessary, before setting up 2013 and 2014's actions!

Unique spaces always evolving

Lively Cities propose to turn empty public spaces into Urban Lifestyle Points: flexible spaces used by communities following the example of Bryant Park in New York, where the grass, a tanning area and an outdoor cinema in the summer, is turned into the chatting place of spring and fall and becomes an ice rink in winter. A flexible space where everyone can create his/ her own space thanks for mobile urban furniture...

A space with its own identity, that lives and evolves with its users and surprise them season after season, year after year. "Permanent" isn't welcome !

First test of the projet, in Wavre, Belgium or how a city centre carpark become a urban garden.

 Lively Cities it's rethinking public space according to communities' needs and expectations, so they reclaim public space for themselves and in the long run.

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