Creative Placemaking book out soon

I am delighted to say that my third book, Creative Placemaking: Research, Theory and Practice will be out for the start of September.

Co-edited with Dr Anita McKeown the curated book both deconstructs and reconstructs the field of creative placemaking from a global research and practice perspective, including a reflective piece from the people that coined the term, the legendary Anne Markusen and Anne Gadwa Nicodemus. 

More information here, including a link to pre-order, and TOC below. 

book cover.jpg


Table of Contents

Introduction Curating Research, Theory and Practice (Cara Courage and Anita McKeown) 

Section One – Evolving Ecologies 

  • 1 Creative Placemaking: Reflections on a 21st Century American Arts Policy Initiative, (Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa Nicodemus)
  • 2 Spaces of Vernacular Creativity Reconsidered, (Tim Edensor and Steve Millington) 

Section Two – Dialogical Ecologies

  • 3 Turning local interests into local action: Community-Based Art and the case of Wrecked! On The Intertidal Zone, (Dominic Walker)
  • 4 Arrivals and Departures: Navigating an Emotional Landscape of Belonging and Displacement at Barangaroo in Sydney, Australia (Sarah Barns)
  • 5 A Case for Human-Scale Social Space in Mumbai (Aditi Nargundkar Pathak) 

Section Three - Scalable Ecologies 

  • 6 A Rural Case: Beyond Creative Placemaking (Margo Handwerker)
  • 7 Creative Placemaking in Peri-Urban Gothenburg – Mission Impossible? (Michael Landzelius and Peter Rundqvist)
  • 8 A Conversation between a Collaborating Artist and Curator: Placemaking, Socially Engaged Art, and Deep Investment in People (Jim Walker and Shauta Marsh) 

Section 4 – Challenging Ecologies 

  • 9 Temporary Spatial Object/Architecture as a Typology for Placemaking (Torange Khonsari)
  • 10 Place Guarding: Activist Art against Gentrification (Stephen Pritchard)
  • 11 Outros Espaços: Apathy and Lack of Engagement in Participatory Processes (Luísa Alpalhão) 

Section 5 – Extending Ecologies 

  • 12 Towards Beauty and a Civics Of Place: Notes From The Thriving Cities Project, (Anna Marazuela Kim and Joshua J Yates)
  • 13 From Indicators to Face Validity to Theory—and Back Again: Measuring Outcomes of U.S. Creative Placemaking Projects (Sunil Iyengar)

Conclusion Moving into the beyond – what’s next for creative placemaking? (Anita McKeown and Cara Courage)

IJAMCP paper

I have a paper published in Volume 4 of the Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy. The paper focuses on my Dublin case study research as part of my PhD, Art Tunnel Smithfield, and is concerned with art practice, process, and new urbanism in Dublin. 

The journal is open access and the paper available to download



This paper presents research with Art Tunnel Smithfield (ATS), Dublin, positioning it in Dublin-wide placemaking practices, and situating it within the city’s tracts of vacant land and Dublin’s bespoke new urbanism. It focuses on the project as a form of social arts practice, giving examples of arts activities and agencies in the space, and locating the work within placemaking typology as ‘social practice placemaking’ (SPPM). SPPM is conceptualised as an extension of participatory public/new genre public art (Lacy, 2008) to a ‘new situationism’ (Doherty, 2004). This perspective views the co-production of art as constructive of new spatial configurations and emergent relations between users and space. Locating this work in the socio-politics of urban life, SPPM has to be understood as an art form that dematerializes the built object and is concerned with creative and social processes and outcomes.

Brighton and Hove Urban Ramblers

Its been exactly a year since I started Brighton and Hove Urban Ramblers...and its been one of the most enjoyable things I have done.

In this first year 612 people have joined the group; we've had 9 rambles, with another 2 to go this year and another 5 in the schedule already for next year; 3 of those rambles have been specifically guided, thank you David Bramwell for the back passages, Claire Potter Design for the foraging and fizz, and Dan Wilson for the churches, and thank you in advance Matt Weston and The Brighton School for the Stones and Donna Close for the public art; and the largest single group was 37 in number, for the May Artists Open Houses - we looked amazing, filled the houses to bursting, and stopped traffic.

Placemaking typology

An artworked version of my placemaking typology, with explanatory text and example projects has been created by Rachel Gillies. This typology has emerged from my PhD research, firstly from my own need in process to classify projects that I see, but then to also aid the sector.

The typology can be found here as well as below. 

Whilst various types of placemaking may share common concerns, essentially the making of place by actors in the urban realm, there is a need for a clear classification of practice in the sector for several reasons, not least the risk of an attenuation of the term and practice of placemaking. Owen (1984) states that community art’s failure to construct its own theoretical framework was reason for its relative devaluing in the art sector. If the placemaking sector does not create its own theoretical framework it risks a similar reduction of a “naïve romanticism” of its claims to outcomes and a side-lining in urban design and planning as a creative, worthy “welfare arts” (ibid., p29) adjunct to be deployed tactically by social service administrations and for city marketing and regeneration, rather than as a meaningful strategy for urban living (Schneekloth and Shibley 2000 p130). This would only be compounded by the cumulative confusion augmented by the competing demands made and expectations of placemaking (Markusen and Gadwa 2012, Fleming 2007).

It is hoped that the sharing of knowledge across types of placemaking will redress exclusory power practices by uncovering the many different types of placemaking undertaken by different ecologies of practice and people and result in the opening up of a continually negotiated border position that Schneekloth and Shibley (2000) advocates.

A placemaking typology then could illuminate nuanced practice for this professional cohort, as well as clearly articulating to those outside of the placemaking sector the variety of and value in these practices.

The typology will appear in my PhD thesis in this form that has a magnification of social practice placemaking as the focus of my research, and also with an equally weighted form.