World Urban Forum Launch of PlacemakingX

Expanding the Global Network for People-Powered Public Spaces

February 2020
Ethan Kent
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Thursday, May 28, 2020 (10:00 AM – 11:30 AM EST) 

PlacemakingX was excited to have its global launch at the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, along with many regional placemaking network leaders and global placemaking thought leaders.

Building on a rich history of public space action and advocacy, Placemaking leaders have spent the last ten years collaborating with UN-Habitat on projects, publications, trainings and many global conferences to make public spaces, public markets, and placemaking a fundamental part of the New Urban Agenda—all topics which had been underrepresented in the global development dialogue until introduced in the 2011 resolution on Public Spaces and the subsequent launch of UN-Habitat’s global public space program

With recent “Placemaking Weeks” occurring in many corners of the world, regional networks are stepping up to help lead the placemaking movement. As the conversation focuses on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, placemaking is being seen as an indispensable tool to bring together the many causes and disciplines necessary to making our cities safer (especially for women and girls), more sustainable, more resilient, and more just.

The launch panel of PlacemakingX with regional Placemaking network leaders from Placemaking Latinoamerica, Placemaking Nairobi, Placemaking Europe, Placemaking ASEAN, Placemaking India, Placemaking Australia and Amaken (Arab) Placemaking.

PlacemakingX WUF10 Networking Session Details

Sunday, 9 February 2020, 4:30 – 6:30 PM (GST)
Networking Event 29, Hall 2, Room 9
Abu Dhabi Exhibition Center, Abu Dhabi

Introduction to the Placemaking Movement and PlacemakingX
Ethan Kent, Co-director, PlacemakingX, New York, USA

Regional Placemaking Network Reports 

Placemaking Latinoamerica
Mariana Alegre, Lima Como Vamos, Lima Peru

Placemaking India
Phaeba Thomas, South Asia at HealthBridge Foundation of Canada

Amaken Placemaking Network(MENA)
Galal Abada, Humanizing Cities

Placemakers ASEAN
Jia Ping, Think CITY, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Placemaking Australasia
Dyan Currie, Chief of Planning, Brisbane, UN Habitat Stakeholder Advisory Group, Chair of Commonwealth Planners Association, Brisbane, Australia

Placemaking Europe
Maciej Zacher, Skawina, Poland

Placemaking Africa
Mark Ojal, UN Habitat, Nairobi, Kenya

Moderated discussion by Guillermo Bernal, PlacemakingX, Placemaking Latino America, Lugares Publicos, Mexico City, Mexico

The Power of Placemaking —  Muna Mustafa Eltahir, Ph.D., Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering Sciences Omdurman Islamic University, Khartoum, Sudan

Global Placemaking Agendas

Placemaking for Academia
Emily Silverman, PlacemakingX

Streets as Places
Kristie Daniels, Health Bridge Canada, Ottawa, Canada 

Market Cities
Steve Davies, Project for Public Spaces, New York, USA

Place Led Governance for Arab Cities
Nadine Bitar Chahine - Placemaking, ME, Dubai, UAE

Place Management
Jon Kher Kaw, Urbanscapes Group, World Bank, Washington, DC

Placemaking for the New Urban Agenda
Michael Mehaffey, Future of Places, Stockholm, Sweden

Placemaking for and by Children
Jens Aerts - Bureau for Urbanism, Belgium

Moderated discussion by Emily Silverman, PlacemakingX

World Urban Forum 10 Abu Dhabi Public Space and Placemaking Events

Events that PlacemakingX Co-director, Ethan Kent, is participating in

Sunday, February 9th

Launching a Market Cities Network: Linking government, market leaders and NGOs to preserve food cultures, traditions, and economies
Healthbridge Foundation of Canada
Networking Event 4, Hall 2: Room 4
14:00 - 16:00

International Launch of PlacemakingX: Expanding the Global Network for People-Powered Public Spaces
PlacemakingX, USA; and Omdurman Islamic University, Sudan
Networking Event 29, Hall 2: Room 9
16:30 - 18:30

Tuesday, February 11th

International dialogue Open megacity. Culture as the foundation of sustainable urban development
Moscow Urban Forum, Moscow Stand
11:35 – 12:15

The Public Realm: from the Classical to the Digital
Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (CSU), USA; and City Space Architecture, Italy; and Center for Sustainable Urban Development The Earth Institute, Columbia University, USA
Side Event 49, Hall 2: Room 9
12:30 - 13:30

Towards child friendly public spaces in Sharjah, UAE
Sharjah Urban Planning Council, United Arab Emirates
Networking Event 99, Hall 3: Room 19
14:00 - 16:00

The Hidden Wealth of Cities: Creating, Financing, and Managing Public Spaces
The World Bank; and UN-Habitat; and Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements; and Centre for Liveable Cities, Singapore
ONE UN room 13
16:00 - 17:30

Public Space in the New Urban Agenda: New Research Findings, Strategies, and Tools
Ax:son Johnson Foundation, Sweden; and Centre for the Future of Places at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Networking Event 104, Hall 2: Room 4
16:30 - 18:30

Wednesday, February 12th

Let’s start with streets: A step-by-step guide for cities
Networking Event 148, Hall 2: Room 8
16:30 - 18:30

More About PlacemakingX and the WUF Launch

PlacemakingX is a global network of leaders who together accelerate the transformation of public spaces into places of culture and innovation, places for healthy, inclusive, resilient and beloved communities. Placemaking creates the places where people gather and discover all they share in common, the bedrock of a culture of tolerance and democracy. It provides spaces where people exchange ideas and take action together, essential for tackling the climate emergency and economic inequity. 

PlacemakingX is powered by a group of 100-plus global pioneering leaders that include our start-up team, senior advisors, and key regional network and thought leaders, together with a fast-growing network of more than 600 advocates from over sixty countries around the world. “X” signifies the multiplier effect that a global network can provide. We convene thought leaders—virtually and in-person— to develop plans of action that cement ties between their work and the overall mission of public health, sustainability, local identity, culture and innovation, and social justice. 

This WUF 10 Networking Event will be the global PlacemakingX launch, following 2019 regional launches in Europe (Valencia, June), Latin America (Lima, July), Canada (Halifax, September), the United States (Chattanooga, October) and South East Asia (Kuala Lumpur, November), Australia (Sydney, December), and India (Chinchwad, December). It is a remarkable opportunity to expand the network of public space leadership, with leaders from cities and regions not yet actively involved.