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Project for Public Spaces’ 3rd International Placemaking Week conference will take place on October 1-4, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Working with our co-hosts The Enterprise Center, Project for Public Spaces will present an inspiring and engaging week full of hands-on sessions, off-site workshops, tours, and networking events, all designed to build upon our previous Placemaking Weeks in Amsterdam in 2017 and Vancouver, BC in 2016.
In many respects, this year’s biggest placemaking event will be a “conference without walls.” Rather than taking place in a hotel or conference center—and with help from Chattanooga’s compact downtown and free shuttle bus service—the city itself will be our venue, and we plan to take full advantage of the many community-oriented organizations and spaces clustered in the innovation district.
Chattanooga’s strong sense of community, deep history of placemaking, and intrepid focus on innovation, will set the scene for a week of conversations that promise to challenge, motivate, and inspire.
A mid-sized U.S. city with a history of placemaking that is both challenging and insightful, the story of Chattanooga is one that has been built not only around train tracks, but also upon deep legacies of racial and economic inequity. Framed around themes of equity and inclusion, as well as urban innovation, Placemaking Week 2019 will bring together over 400 advocates and practitioners to address these challenges, and to explore new ways in which public space and placemaking can offer crucial interventions in these discussions.
Surrounded by mountains and ridges and known as the “Scenic City,” Chattanooga is a leader in innovation, both nationally and globally. Chattanooga was the first city in the country to have a community-wide fiber optic network—offering every resident access to the world’s fastest internet—and in 2015, they established an innovation district in their downtown, anchored by the 11-story Edney Innovation Center, which is home to a business accelerator, drop-in and event space, co-working spaces, and private offices. Today, with more than 150 events each month in the Edney Center’s community space, diverse groups of people are connecting and businesses are growing.
October is one of the best months to be in Chattanooga for its pleasant weather and array of other festivals taking place in the region. On the weekend following Placemaking Week, participants can take advantage of one of the city’s busiest times of year for events in Chattanooga, including the 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival,Wine Over Water, a wine-tasting festival on the Walnut Street Bridge, and the Big Nine Roots Festival.
Chattanooga is a city of creators, and we pride ourselves on our reputation for building beautiful, engaging public places for people in our city. We are honored at the opportunity to share our community with our friends across the country and around the world. We want to learn how we can continue to make great places in a way that includes and represents everyone.
— Mayor of Chattanooga Andy Berke
Photos courtesy Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau, Spackman Mossop Michaels