The urbanite’s guide to placemaking


"If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places." -Fred Kent

Between Pinterest and Tumblr, there is no shortage of placemaking idea fodder out there — if you know where to look. To inspire you, we’ve compiled our list of the “Top 5 placemaking blogs and pinners.”

We’d love to see some of these ideas put into motion in our favorite city: Grand Rapids.

1. Public space

This board offers up some classic “pin-spiration.” The emphasis is on public green space and parks, which are a key component in any urban placemaking endeavor. These pins illustrate a series of well-executed placemaking ideas that range from the practical to the whimsical. Currently, there are 6.4 acres of park space per resident in downtown Grand Rapids. Pins like these make us think that there’s room for improvement on that number.

2. City life

If you ever need to be reminded why city living is so wonderful, take a minute to peruse Jeffrey Allee’s Pinterest board. Stunning photos of new and old school architecture are always a great reminder. Grand Rapids has a great mix of classic and modern architecture, as October’s blog post points out.

3. Pacific Ridge Tactical Urbanism

The Pacific Ridge Tactical Urbanism Tumblr presents an excellent assortment of ideas on how to best use our urban environments. From parklets to interactive bus stops, this blog covers all the bases.

4. Urban Funscape

Urban Funscape has a happy-go-lucky take on urban placemaking that always makes us smile. This colorful collection of photos touches on the lighter side of urban life. Although cities are sometimes seen as cold and utilitarian, this blog illustrates that isn’t always the case.

5. Imagining Cities

This site delves into the world of placemaking from an artist’s perspective. Imagining Cities explores the relationship between people and public spaces. This blogger takes a fresh look at the participatory nature of installation art and its affect on people’s perception of a city. As the official home of ArtPrize, Grand Rapids clearly understands the importance of public art in the city center.

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