COVID Summer Placemaking in Montreal’s terraces

Arts and Culture | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Street activation

Featuring seven public terrasses that have been set up around the city to offer people safe and lovely places to hang out and each one has something special to offer. This includes the ethereal 320-foot-long yellow table that winds around trees in a #Montreal public terrasse called Prenez Place. Created by local artists and designers and decorated with flags and festive lights


Innovative Shifts to Halifax’s Public Spaces Due to COVID-19

Arts and Culture | COVID testing/vaccination initiatives | General: Tools for engagement | Mobility and transportation | Parks and public space | Street activation

A round-up of some of the clever ways the Halifax community took the challenges of COVID-19 and flipped them to create opportunities for all.

26 “winter stations” have been set up in 18 Montreal boroughs along Montréal’s shopping streets to attract customers, enliven the shopping experience, and encourage local merchants

Arts and Culture | Downtown | Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership | Street activation

Each station has been designed according to a concept conducive to physical distancing, which has been approved by the regional public health authorities and the Ville de Montréal’s emergency response coordinating committee. The health guidelines as well as the maximum capacity are posted in each station and must be complied with.


“Jardin des espoirs” is a winter station in Montreal, Illuminated and decorated with multiform structures reminiscent of the colours of cargo ship containers sailing the Saint-Laurent River

Arts and Culture | Local businesses | Main Street | Parks and public space | Street activation

As part of the City of Montreal’s Bureau du design call for proposals for the “Rethinking Public Space” qualification, with the ultimate goal of designing and building “winter stations” in 17 Montreal boroughs — The challenge was to produce installations capable of withstanding the Montreal winter, which would be well adapted to the pandemic context, and that would improve the experience for residents.

The winter station also aims to promote local commerce — passers-by are invited to get ribbons from nearby stores so that they can be attached to the installations. This fulfils the objectives of bringing joy to people and encouraging the local economy.

Every One Every Day Kjipuktuk/Halifax is bringing North End neighbours together to design and start projects that benefit them and the community.

General: Sector resources | Parks and public space

The projects you will find here are all about doing practical, creative things with people nearby, and finding more ways for people to connect and learn across the neighbourhood. They are made possible by local residents coming together to share their ideas, time and skills for mutual community benefit. The wide range of sessions such as neighbourhood walks, making your own dream catcher, or preparing healthy snacks for kids, means that there are many different ways to get involved and fuel your creativity. They are all free to attend and open to everyone. This 4 week program will inspire a growing network of friends and neighbours who are excited to bring new ideas and projects to life in the neighbourhood.

Neighbourhood Starter Kits to help a group of neighbours or individuals wanting to participate in projects that strengthen the neighbourhood.

Arts and Culture | General: Sector resources | General: Tools for engagement | Parks and public space | Street activation

Solon, a non-profit organization in Montreal, has partnered with Participatory Canada to create the Our Neighbourhood Project starter kits. These project kits enable people to get
together, learn from one another, and lend a hand during these trying times.

There are 9 free, practical and useful starter kits to choose from. Each kit includes materials and support, and an opportunity to meet new people. It could be seeds to grow flowers on your street, a sewing machine to mend old clothes, or tools to repair your bike. Everything is provided! Sign up and start projects with and for your neighbourhood! To start a project, you will need a minimum of 3 people. The Our Neighbourhood team is here to connect you with others in your building, on your street or spread out across the neighbourhood. Together we’ll build mini ecosystems across the Tolhurst/St-Benoît area.

Available in French and English

plazaPOPS is a community-lead, high impact, and low cost, process to transform plaza parking lots into free and accessible gathering places.

Local businesses | Main Street | Parks and public space | Street activation

Responding to the lack of amenities along Toronto’s inner suburban arterials for pedestrians and TTC riders, plazaPOPS seeks to support and enhance the vibrant communities and businesses that already characterize Toronto’s inner suburbs, suggesting context-sensitive approaches to their densification. plazaPOPS is currently working with the City of Toronto on a SSHRC funded project to understand how to turn our successful pilot into a sustainable citywide program. Transforming privately-owned strip mall parking lots into community gathering spaces is a pragmatic way to enhance inner suburban main streets and encourage outdoor gathering that supports small businesses — an especially important element of “bringing back main street” in response to COVID-19.

Main street shops in the UK are repurposed as climate emergency centres: Community groups are revitalising retail units in often moribund high streets to help people and planet

Main Street | Street activation

The project self-funds by using a business model that enables owners of currently vacant business premises to reduce their Business Rates payments by up to 100% through ‘meanwhile leasing’ the property for community benefit to a not for profit / charitable organisation (the CEC). This means the project can acquire a vacant property to use to generate income through activities that meet local community needs in a sustainable way. In addition, the property owner can build good relationships with the local community and the local Council through supporting a creative and positive sustainability initiative.

As Calgary struggles to reinvent its greater downtown, there might be lessons from Columbus.

Downtown | Main Street | Policy leadership | Street activation

Blog comparing Calgary and Columbus with respect to the redevelopment of its downtown over the past 20+ years.  There are some similarities to what Columbus faced 30 years ago and what Calgary is facing today.

Great Public Spaces Guide

General: Sector resources | General: Tools for engagement | Main Street | Parks and public space | Street activation

Developed by Australia’s Department of Planning, Industry and Environment brings for New South Wales.

Universities are helping to shape city development: A prosperous and healthy city benefits urban universities and their surrounding communities.


Through shared spaces, partnerships, university-led public symposia, grassroots projects and media conversations, universities increasingly want to influence the development agenda of the cities in which they reside.

Build Back Victoria Supports Local Business and has been extended until October 2021

CUI x Victoria | Economic Recovery Plans | Local businesses | Main Street | Shop Local | Street activation

The spring and summer program will launch in early June and include new streetscape features and a pedestrian-priority zone. The timed daily closure will create inviting public space for pedestrians, cyclists and pedicabs in the afternoon and evening while still allowing for vehicle circulation, commercial pick-up and delivery functions. New loading zones and accessible parking stalls will also be installed on and adjacent to the corridor. Accessibility in flex spaces will also be a priority. New features include picnic tables and benches, planters and flowers, gateway improvements, signage and playable street elements like public seating that doubles as performance platforms. These treatments advance Council’s strategic objective for creating a pedestrian-priority Government Street and will inform the longer-term streetscape design. Learn more

New pop up park in downtown Edmonton in a former parking lot

Local businesses | Street activation

A new pop-up park is taking root downtown! Enjoy the fresh spring air at Root 107 – an inclusive public space filled with colourful mural art, greenery, and unique seating areas made from recycled materials. Grab some takeout at one of the neighbouring restaurants or food trucks and enjoy in the sunshine!

The City of Edmonton is transforming a series of surface parking lots into a new downtown park

CUIxYEG (Edmonton) | Parks and public space | Policy leadership

Located in the Downtown Warehouse District, the Warehouse Campus Neighbourhood Central Park will cover 1.33 hectares (roughly 13,300 square metres or just over 2 football fields) between 106 Street and 108 Street and Jasper Avenue to 102 Avenue. The downtown population is expected to significantly increase in the next decade. This park will serve as a major public amenity for residents and businesses. The design of 106 Street from Jasper Avenue to 102 Avenue will be integrated into the scope of work for Warehouse Campus Park. This project is a significant catalyst project identified in the Capital City Downtown Plan, and is fully funded by the Capital City Downtown Community Revitalization Levy.

Micro-retail spaces designed and programmed to advance, grow and celebrate creative retail.

Parks and public space | Street activation

Powered by San Jose Made, MOMENT embodies the urgency, immediacy and verve of today’s new retail and creative culture, featuring makers, creatives, artists and emerging brands for varying short-to-mid-length durations. Located in downtown San Jose within the ever-popular San Pedro Square neighborhood, MOMENT is perfectly positioned to elevate these already-amazing businesses, brands and talent to newer and greater levels of visibility at a time when San Jose itself is rising to newer and greater levels of visibility.

Montreal’s “Parklets,” — definitions, examples, benefits, implementation frameworks

Main Street | Parks and public space | Street activation

Pilot Project Evaluations: Strengthening Public Market Systems in Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Toronto

Food | Street activation

Project for Public Spaces provided leading market organizations in each city with pro bono technical assistance and a planning grant to audit each city’s existing market system, identify challenges and opportunities, and convene a broad group of stakeholders to advocate for new policy and governance structures.

Tactical urbanism project in Auckland NZ

Mobility and transportation | Street activation

A collection of inspiring case studies on good public spaces as the backbone of the sustainable city from across Asia.

Main Street | Street activation

A collection of 43 cases, equally spread in over 15 countries throughout Asia. From Singapore to Asahikawa, and Hanoi to Mumbai, municipal governments, urban planners, activists, architects, placemakers and real estate developers are pioneering to create human-scale streets and loveable places, using a more cocreative approach to urban development. With The City at Eye Level Asia we bring you key insights and lessons learned from Asia’s front-runners in creative and community-led placemaking, heritage revitalization and place-led development, that are inspiring more future-proof places for people

European web-platform for placemakers and placemaking tools

Main Street | Parks and public space | Street activation

We strongly believe that our members, publications, events and tools will help you through your placemaking journey.. We are a network of thousands of placemakers primarily based and working in Europe. We are the proud network behind Placemaking Week Europe. We connect to share our experiences, develop tools, champion each other, and work together to make great places. We are so excited to welcome  you to the community. 

Finding Joy through Playful Learning Conference Resource Guide

Children | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Youth

Virtual conference recordings and presentations that brought together educators, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners support children and families in learning through play.

Arts and Culture | Children | Public health | Street activation

A central portal for placemaking that harnesses the agency of communities across Ireland to amplify their potential in a way that can transform their physical, social, psychological well being.

Arts and Culture | General: Sector resources | General: Tools for engagement | Main Street | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Street activation

Reimagine is a nationwide placemaking programme by the Irish Architecture Foundation, working with communities across Ireland to co-create and co-design solutions to problems or opportunities they’ve identified in their locality.

Reimagine matches architects with local partners, enabling communities to play an active role in the development of their neighbourhoods, streetscapes, parks, villages and towns.

ULI’s forthcoming report — Global Innovations for Health, Social Equity, and Sustainability

General: Sector resources | General: Tools for engagement | Main Street | Mobility and transportation | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Street activation

The Urban Land Institute’s Building Healthy Places Initiative profiled more than 30 approaches to the public realm during the pandemic from around the globe, representing a range of cities—small and large, on different continents, implementing pilot projects or accelerating long-term plans. The examples illuminate how cities can innovate with low-cost, immediately responsive, and creative interventions that promote health and social equity. Several of these examples, spanning four different types of public space projects, are highlighted in this article. The Pandemic and the Public Realm: Global Innovations for Health, Social Equity, and Sustainability is a forthcoming report of ULI

Public space and equity: new research on community-led public spaces (Webinar and resources)

General: Sector resources | General: Tools for engagement | Main Street | Parks and public space | Policy leadership

How can we leverage this moment in time — as billions of dollars are being released for infrastructure projects — to build more inclusive, equitable public spaces moving forward? On Episode 24 of “Coast to Coast,” we’ll unpack findings from forthcoming research from Knight and Gehl on community-led, equitable public spaces that serve and engage communities in the pandemic and beyond.


  • Knight Foundation report conducted by Gehl evaluates 7 public spaces in the U.S. to identify their successes and make recommendations for their improvement:
  • The Knight Report, “Adaptive Public Space: Places for People in the Pandemic and Beyond,” finds that public spaces that reflect the needs of residents received more visitors:
  • Knight’s Lilly Weinberg and Evette Alexander share their thoughts on the newly published Knight Foundation report, which evaluated the impact of public spaces:
  • Gehl uses a people-first approach to urban planning to create a future where people have more control over the communities they live in: 
  • Centennial Parkside is led by residents and organizations and seeks to preserve and revitalize the community with initiatives around healthy living, civic engagement and the arts:
  • Reimagining the Civic Commons is transforming the way communities can manage civic assets to foster equity, engagement, economic development and environmental sustainability: 

Mural project in Durham Region is using crowd-sourcing to fundraise

Arts and Culture | General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | Street activation

Signs of Life supports the growth of healthy, happy communities impacted by COVID-19 across Durham Region by recognizing our creative economy, using art as a vehicle for participation to deepen public discussions and contemplation on core values and civic issues, through non-partisan regional-wide projects. We are a social hub for artists, organizations, and citizens who want to be more engaged in public life, and for our citizens to be proud of the place they call home. We want people to park their cars and feel safe to get out, walk around, connect with their neighbours, interact and be inspired by Signs of Life murals. We want them to spend money at local businesses that share in the current hardships our main streets are currently facing as we look to recover in the era of COVID-19.

The City of Mississauga’s Public Art Program invites Ontario-based artists to submit proposals of new or existing light-based artwork to be a part of Light Up the Square (LUTS) 2021 – a new outdoor, multi-week, destination festival of night lights in Mississauga’s Celebration Square

Arts and Culture | Main Street | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Street activation

For this project, the City of Mississauga is seeking large-scale, medium, or small existing works and/or new commissions in a variety of mediums that center on ideas and themes of hope and renewal. Where possible, artwork should offer an inviting and accessible visitor experience. The submission guide is available on this site.

East Lansing launches crowdfunding campaign to make safe areas to socialize, shop downtown

Fundraising and volunteering | Main Street | Street activation

East Lansing has launched a crowdfunding campaign in an effort to create safe outdoor areas to socialize and support local businesses downtown. If the campaign raises $50,000 by Feb. 10, the funds will be matched by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Public Spaces Community Places program, according to a news release from the city and MEDC. Additions will include new market space, increased seating options, light installations, art displays and city programming, according to the release.

Embracing Winter with Creative Ways to Stay Outdoors

Arts and Culture | General: Sector resources | Mobility and transportation

So how do we embrace winter, while also being mindful of not attracting big crowds this year? A few key insights from the webinars:

  • Shift the conversation. Let’s talk about stylish winter gear, crisp air and blue skies, powdery snow, and how it’s nice to not get sweaty when riding your bike. Leave the bleak attitude behind. Pretend you are a kid again. Winter can be a delight!
  • Keep the sidewalks clear. As Gil Penalosa said, in all seasons, “sidewalks are the most important infrastructure in any city.” Prioritizing snow removal from sidewalks help make it safe and enjoyable (and always free!) to venture out on foot!
  • Think programs, not events. Events often mean crowds, or a one-time party. This year, ongoing, steady programming will spread out visits and aid in physical distancing (and may also better cater to different ages).
  • Celebrate the season. Winter offers the excuse to warm by a fire pit, sit in the sun, drink a warm beverage, and keep moving to stay warm. Installations and programming that bring in elements that celebrate the season make it all the more special.
  • Get creative. Government has adapted throughout 2020 – allowing things like more outdoor dining – and this type of fresh looks at old regulations is often needed to get creative over the winter.

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