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"To decide to be someplace as members of a community demands thatwe become active placemakers again, that we participate with othersin our communities in thoughtful, careful responsible action." Thedeath of Main Street, the blight of the inner city, the sterilityof so much contemporary development—these are effects of amajor disconnection between the human community and the builtenvironment. At no time in the history of our society has therebeen a more urgent need to take a hard look at how we createphysical environments. In response to this unmet need and moralconfusion, Placemaking: The Art and Practice of BuildingCommunities calls for a more dynamic, more inclusive design processand demonstrates new placemaking practices that have emerged fromdifferent communities and environments. "Placemaking is the way inwhich all human beings transform the places they find themselvesinto the places where they live." Drawing on four actual "stories"from their own professional practice, the authors show howempowered communities, working in a true democratic collaborationwith planning and architecture professionals, can create placeswhich not only support work and play, but also help fosterrelationships between people. These stories represent a broad rangeof communities and physical environments: The First Baptist Churchof Roanoke, Virginia—in rebuilding its church, a communitystruggles to define itself and the role of the church buildingwithin the community The International Banking Institute—astory of change in the workplace, group dynamics, and the abilityof an organization to learn about itself The Roanoke NeighborhoodPartnership—the creation of a new, more collaborativerelationship between neighborhood people, city government, theprivate sector, and design professionals The Rudy Bruner AwardProgram—an examination of what makes an "excellent" place andhow the creative ability of communities can transform problems intosuccessful projects "Placemaking consists of those daily acts ofrenovating, maintaining, and representing the places that sustainus " In telling these stories, the authors demonstrate howcertain practices—making a "dialogic space," "the dialectic ofconfirmation and interrogation," and "framing action"—can beused to create, transform, maintain, and renovate the places inwhich people live. Placemaking: The Art and Practice of BuildingCommunities is a truly visionary work that has its foundation inthe daily lives of specific people and places. Its publication isbound to spark a long overdue controversy among architects,planners, designers, and all people concerned with the well-beingof communities.
The Power of Stories: The First Baptist Church.
Organizational Development Through Design: The InternationalBanking Institute.
The Practice of Democracy: The Roanoke NeighborhoodPartnership.
Redefining Excellence in the Urban Development: The Rudy BrunerAward Program.
Epilogue: A Critical Practice.