Making Places People Like

Jul 15, 2013

Creating a sense of place is attracting more attention from community developers as the nation’s demographics continue to shift.

A slide from a presentation during the Placemaking Conference at the University of Oklahoma.
Credit OU Institute for Quality Communities

Nearly 800 civic leaders attended a recent placemaking conference sponsored by the University of Oklahoma’s Institute for Quality Communities.

Speaking at the conference, Donovan Rypkema debunked several myths about preserving old buildings. He says studies show the older structures are not necessarily less energy efficient than newer construction.

Rypkema also reports government investment into preservation provides a significant return for the public.

Another speaker at the program, Ellen Dunham-Jones, says suburbs are beginning to experience some of the same issues as older urban cores as they age.

Ethan Kent, vice president for Public Spaces, works with a project that has put together a network across the globe to help public officials understand how placemaking generates a sense of community.