Placemaking is increasingly drawn upon by planners, city authorities and citizens as a means of reclaiming, remaking and regenerating urban space. Yet understandings of placemaking and the work it may entail can vary markedly. Often, planning discourse and placemaking literature conceive of placemaking as a singular material change to a landscape, a project that is complete once installation has finished. In contrast, we see placemaking as an open-ended achievement, constituted through diverse and dynamic assemblages and realised through a multiplicity of post-installation labours. We draw on a case study of Newcastle, Australia, to highlight these labours, the affective, contingent work which brings together the human and non-human, the material and social, and the enduring and ephemeral, to make place. Through three citizen-led placemaking projects in Newcastle, we elucidate the importance of these assembling labours and argue for a more nuanced understanding of placemaking, its multiple and sometimes transient outcomes, and the role diverse placemaking efforts may play in regenerating the city.
Sweeney, J., Mee, K., McGuirk, P. & Ruming, K. J. (2018). Assembling placemaking: making and remaking place in a regenerating city. Cultural Geographies, 25 (4), 571-587.