A boy can dream: “To truly empower placemaking as a strategy for accelerating innovation, districts must experiment with new models of Place Governance.”

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Lots of good ideas herein, of the sort that might be considered by downtown New Albany merchants.

8 Placemaking Principles for Innovation Districts, by Project for Public Spaces

PPS staff Nate Storring and Meg Walker reflect on the possibilities and challenges of placemaking in innovation districts. This article is part of the Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking, a collaboration between PPS and the Brookings Institution.

Let’s skip to Number Eight.

8. UNITY: GOVERN WITH VISION AND HOLISTIC, INCLUSIVE STRATEGIES

A district cannot follow any of these principles very far without encountering the issue of governance. How do stakeholders within the district collaborate and make decisions? Where does the money come from? Who has the power to implement the plans and policies? Who is going to get their hands dirty and actually do the implementing?

To truly empower placemaking as a strategy for accelerating innovation, districts must experiment with new models of Place Governance. This means breaking down silos between disciplines and addressing issues with integrated strategies of policy and place. It means planning proactively and accountably with workers, students and residents—those end users again—not just leaders and experts. It means fostering a common sense of vision for the district’s future, while also leaving room for people to make many little plans. And ultimately, it means devolving more powers, responsibilities, and funding to the district level.

These are radical changes to the way that municipalities approach governance today, however Place Governance can begin with improving public spaces. The placemaking process brings together people from across disciplines, sectors, and interests, and provides tangible little wins that form the basis of shared trust for bigger endeavors. With relatively little investment, placemaking can literally produce the common ground for a broad, inclusive vision of the innovation district.

Um, never mind.

Perhaps we need to begin with something simpler, like “Maybe you and your employees should park somewhere else for a change.”

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