Wuhan Placemaking Week took place on December 6-12, 2018, convening placemakers of all backgrounds to re-imagine the future of Chinese cities. Wuhan Placemaking Week also marked the launch of the Chinese Placemaking Network.
Chinese cities like Wuhan are growing at an unprecedented rate, and now is the time to lay the foundation for these cities to be shaped around better public spaces for all. Sharing knowledge about how placemaking can be applied to the unique context of growing Chinese cities is the first step towards adaptable, engaging public spaces. Through the support of the new Chinese Placemaking Network, these cities can nurture the creation of public spaces as sociable, welcoming places, but also as hubs for active transport and green infrastructure.
Wuhan Placemaking Week covered four thematic tracks: Waterfront Placemaking; Historical Streets Placemaking; Community Placemaking; and Healthy Communities.
Urban waterfronts are often historic hubs for trade — but, beyond that role, they are central to the life of a community. When integrated into the existing urban fabric, they can be great public spaces that are accessible and full of activity at all times of the day and year. Instead of fencing people off from the water, these spaces can be a local draw for residents and visitors alike, where people interact with their urban environment and with one other. Learn more about the Waterfront Placemaking sub-theme.
All too often, historic streets face pressures from development, or are isolated from the broader transformation of a city. But the human-scaled qualities that make them so valuable are also what create their lasting appeal. It is for this reason that placemaking is so crucial for these streets; the legacy of these vital historic public spaces merit an interdisciplinary approach that preserves their sense of place.
Placemaking is, at its core, a community-led process. Robust community outreach must, for this reason, be focused on equity and inclusion and based on the empowerment of local placemakers. Great places become great through a deep and shared sense of meaning and stewardship, both processes that emerge only when the whole community drives the placemaking process.
From active transportation to access to green space, public spaces are at the center of daily decisions around health. Public spaces, at their best, create an enabling environment for healthy lifestyles. Whether through public markets that provide fresh and nutritious foods or through widely used bike lanes, the way public spaces are designed and used has profound impacts on the well-being of a community.
View the full program now!
Wuhan Placemaking Week featured speakers from all over the world, whose expertise in areas ranging from urban data to public health framed the conversation around the future of Chinese placemaking. Listed below are all international speakers for Wuhan Placemaking Week:
Everyone has the right to live in a great place, and the right to make the place where they already live better.
When urban development focuses on place, vibrant public spaces are put front and center, enabling cities to transform into thriving places. Place-led development can support quality of life, improve the environment, build strong local economies, preserve cultural traditions, inspire creativity, and achieve social equity for all residents and visitors. To realize this vision, city-building must be achieved through the lens of placemaking, the community-based process of maximizing the shared value of the public realm.
Wuhan Placemaking Week launches the establishment of the Chinese Placemaking Network, bringing together placemakers of all backgrounds to re-imagine the future of Chinese cities and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda. The Chinese Placemaking Network will promote knowledge transfer across the country through online resources and regular events that promote the sharing of best practices, case studies, and innovative community engagement techniques.
Chinese cities like Wuhan are growing at an unprecedented rate, and now is the time to lay the foundation for these cities to be shaped around better public spaces for all. Today, public spaces across China face challenges, from limited availability and accessibility, to a lack of informal public life or sense of community ownership. Knowledge sharing about how placemaking can be applied to the unique context of growing Chinese cities is the first step towards adaptable, engaging public spaces.
As Wuhan rapidly becomes an international city, it recognizes that it has an unprecedented opportunity to invest in community-led placemaking. Through the support of the new Chinese Placemaking Network, Wuhan can nurture the creation of public spaces as sociable, welcoming places, but also as hubs for active transport and green infrastructure. As a network, we commit to: