The term placemaker implies a promise. A commitment to cultivating environments that nurture human needs in all their diversity.
Not so long ago, before technology liberated us from restraints imposed by distance and climate, making places was mostly about responding to natural limitations. Over millennia, the responses were refined into patterns and techniques that shaped the places we love the most. We love those places because their underlying forms are the products of human wishes for safety, for community, for commerce, for aesthetic appeal. In a sense, our species co-evolved with the habitat we designed to protect and inspire us.
But over the last half-century — thanks in no small part to the cars we justifiably love and the infrastructure, energy, finance and regulatory systems that support them — placemaking became increasingly influenced by the unintended consequences of seemingly unlimited choices. And now, ironically, we find ourselves limited in ways we never expected by our dependence on just one way to get around — from one disconnected place to another.
It’s community design by default. And the resulting constriction in our family, civic and business relationships threatens our health, our happiness and our prosperity.
To diminish this threat to liberty and opportunity, communities must be free to change the default setting. It has to be a conscious act, a locally-owned and driven exercise in rehabilitative design. One that empowers a free market, fosters partnership and accountability, and ensures the greatest possible returns on investments of money, sweat and time.
These are the principles driving our organization. For communities seeking the freedom of aspiration, we exist to help change the default setting of unconscious, opportunity-inhibiting community design. And we are committed to the broad-based approach necessary to make that change effective and lasting.
Care to dig in deeper? Start with these overviews of our core service offerings:
Want to know more about our individual partners and the experiences that color our perspectives? Meet us here.