This critical view by Dean Saitta of the concept placemaking and its narrow implementation in many planners and designers views of what is a relevant version of placemaking, is welcome, especially here in South African cities and in Africa generally, where racial stereotypes and gentrified views obscure the reality of the majority of users needs and understanding of what contributes to a places reality, beyond its physical attributes and aesthetic considerations.
An extract form Deans commentary on a presentation to his university on some campus improvements from Plantizen shows that these stereootypes of “public space ” are in fact creating an ersatz or quasi place, that these concepts are are pervasive and as irrelevant in his context of a North American university campus as they are in our cities.
Hi post elicited a good conversation that is worth reading.
“There’s very little that differentiates proposals by four distinguished planning and design firms to better connect my university to its immediate neighborhood and the wider city. Why is that, and does it have to be that way?”