The placemaking initiative is a continuation of the Downtown Exploratory Committee’s recommendations and the City’s efforts to help facilitate a vibrant downtown.

In 2018, the City partnered with Cuningham Group to develop a placemaking strategy to enhance public spaces in and near the downtown, including Main Street Plaza and Hamilton Park.

What is Placemaking?

The Project for Public Spaces defines placemaking as:

Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value. More than just promoting better urban design, placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.

In essence, people like to be where they feel comfortable.  Those spaces tend to be places where they see other people engaging in joyful activities.   It takes good design, management and programming in order to make a good space into a great place.

Demonstration Project

 As part of Hamilton Park Family Day, Cuningham Group coordinated a demonstration project where residents of all ages could help build pink benches.  The benches were then decorated with words and sayings that described what “Fond du Lac is…” to them.

The goal of the demonstration project was to help animate Hamilton Park and contribute to the overall Family day activities.  It also helped to enhance use, pride and care of public spaces.

Activities to Date:

  • July 18, 2018 – Walking tour and assessment of downtown and public spaces
  • September 22, 2018 – Hamilton Park Family Day
  • January 5, 2018 – Hamilton Park Winterfest

*All photos courtesy of Joellyn Dahlin