Have you heard the term placemaking? Do you know what it means? Placemaking has become a buzzword in today's spheres of community development and social entrepreneurship. Project for Public Spaces defines it:
"Placemaking is a quiet movement that reimagines public spaces as the heart of every community, in every city. It’s a transformative approach that inspires people to create and improve their public places. Placemaking strengthens the connection between people and the places they share... More than just creating better urban design of public spaces, Placemaking facilitates creative patterns of activities and connections (cultural, economic, social, ecological) that define a place and support its ongoing evolution. Placemaking is how people are more collectively and intentionally shaping our world, and our future on this planet."
Historically, churches have nurtured connections between people and place, particularly through calling us to love and serve neighbors. Churches have also played a central role in providing community gathering spaces. What if churches were strategically engaging in placemaking practices to shape their public spaces to promote community interaction in our neighborhoods and cities? How might placemaking take shape in the church context?