Mayor's Neighborhood Conference 2012: Great Neighborhoods - Great Places

Friday, September 21, 2012 - 11:57am

Madison residents, business leaders, and governmental officials will talk about ways in which neighborhoods can use placemaking to their advantage. The Mayor's Conference 2012: Great Neighborhoods, Great Places will feature keynote speaker, Fred Kent, President of Project for Public Spaces who will speak about the virtues of well-used and active public places.

"Placemaking can be used to enhance neighborhoods that are already vital, and it can help turn transitioning neighborhoods around by giving people a reason to be there," commented Fred Kent. Kent is a teacher, practitioner, and enthusiastic supporter of placemaking, "Watching a community regenerate itself around the community gathering space is off-the-charts exciting," commented Kent.

Although local officials often take the lead in community planning, Mayor Soglin notes that parties outside of government can play an important part in placemaking as well. "Citizens are creative placemakers in all of our neighborhoods," commented Soglin in reference to his recent visit to a Southwest side neighborhood where local activists had closed the street for children?s activities and neighborhood interaction this summer. "These talented neighbors made the street the „place to be? with art, food, and music," remarked Soglin.

Placemaking is a community-based approach to the planning, design and management of spaces. It involves the discovery, re-imaging, and simple practices that can make neighborhoods distinctive, accessible, economically viable, and visually pleasing. Conference organizers are asking residents to share a photograph of favorite and least favorite places in Madison by posting them on the conference website.

The neighborhood conference offers a chance for participants to learn how communities and neighborhoods can establish a distinctive sense of place and use this to their advantage. Twenty workshops will be offered where participants can learn how to create great places, build stronger neighborhood organizations, address crime and transportation safety, and improve neighborhood sustainability.

The Mayor's Neighborhood Conference is scheduled for Saturday, October 13 at Monona Terrace and Community Convention Center from 8:00 - 4:30 pm. Register for the conference at Contact City of Madison Planning Division at 608-266-4635 for more information.


  • Linda Horvath, Planning Division608-267-1131