Preserving, Reconstructing and Enhancing the Place Identity: Identifying Principles of Urban Sustainability with Placemaker Method

Preserving, Reconstructing and Enhancing the Place Identity: Identifying Principles of Urban Sustainability with Placemaker Method


IRAT-National Research Council, DiARC – University of Naples Federico II, Italy

30 April 2014
| Citation



The changes that are occurring as a result of mutations in interpersonal and intergenerational relationships, globalisation and new technologies have led to phenomena of homogenisation of territorial specificities, but by the same token have also prompted further discussion concerning the importance of identity of place. Present-day urban conditions appear rich in differentiation with regard to the times and ways in which the city is used, for the new typologies of spaces and the change in the modalities of use of those already existing. In order to identify, represent and design the complex transformations in the contemporary city transversal and multi-level methods of analysis and design are being elaborated and experimented capable of representing and making leg-ible the urban complexity that confronts us today.

Starting from these premises, the aim of this paper is to illustrate PlaceMaker method of urban analysis and design, whose flexibility, as is apparent in the three emblematic case studies which will be illustrated, enables it to be used in widely varying contexts and for a range of objectives.

In particular, the experiments were carried out in order to identify the current place identity to be preserved, reconstructed and enhanced. The investigation protocol serves as a guide to be adapted and reinforced at some points, according to the characteristics of the place and the intended purposes. The case studies gave rise to 12 principles for place identity enhancement, created from a reasoned set of blueprints for the various experiments carried out using the original PlaceMaker method which conclude the paper.


Contemporary city, place identity, PlaceMaker, urban design, urban planning, urban sustainability principles


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