Celebrate Our Great Public Spaces
Upper Valley Placemaking Week, September 25 through October 1
Think of a place you love in the Upper Valley. Why do you love it? Because of how it looks, sounds, smells, feels? The experiences you have had there? The people you had them with? Stories you know about the place? All these elements and more give locales what has come to be called a “sense of place”—the combination of factors that make people value and feel connected to particular places and make those places unique.
A locale’s sense of place can be strengthened through “placemaking”—intentionally enhancing those elements that make places feel good individually and collectively.
Celebrate the power and importance of great public places during the inaugural Upper Valley Placemaking Week, September 25 through October 1.
- Browse the resources on this page to learn more about great placemaking both in and beyond our region
- Take a Valley Quest – self-guided treasure hunts that prompt you to learn about and explore some of the wonderful places in the Upper Valley
- Sign up for a free Guided Quest September 24 with a biologist from the Vermont Center for Eco-Studies
- Enter a drawing for a Placemaking Prize Package:
- Choose a place that you love that’s open to the public
- Take a photo of it and write what you love about it
- Share your photo and text on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #uvplacemaking
- Enter by October 15
Turning Public Spaces into Great Places
Think of the public spaces you live, work, or travel by every day: parks, streets, and other publicly owned spaces. Placemaking turns those public spaces into places that boost our health, happiness, and well-being. Using a community-based process, Placemaking builds upon some of our greatest assets: places open to the public.
True Placemakers listen first. They ask questions and learn how people currently live, work, and play in a space and what needs or dreams they have for that space and for their community. Then, they dive deep into the pool of Placemaking examples, found internationally, and design a space that builds on community assets, serves a diversity of stakeholder needs, builds social networks, and forwards multiple initiatives. Placemaking includes adding a diversity of permanent or temporary elements such as seating, public art, gardens, and crosswalks.
The Project for Public Spaces states, “A great public space cannot be measured by its physical attributes alone; it must also serve people as a vital community resource in which function always trumps form. When people of all ages, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds can not only access and enjoy a place, but also play a key role in its identity, creation, and maintenance, that is when we see genuine Placemaking in action.”