Creative Placemaking: How to Promote Your Community’s “Sense of Place”
Cultivating a sense of place is as vitally important as creating jobs in your community. There are plenty of great ways to promote and create brand equity for your region, but creative placemaking eclipses all of them, making it the best way to help your community stand out.
There are two ways most communities try to communicate their sense of place:
- A website and blog for your community’s tourism attractions. Web communication is a visitor’s (and your residents’) first window into what your community has to offer. Blogging about your community’s upcoming events is an easy way to spread the word about your community’s sense of place. Blogging also allows you to entice visitors to return to your community. And of course, web content is easily shared, leading to the second way your community’s sense of place is usually communicated...
- A social media page or multiple accounts promoting your region’s tourism attractions. Social media helps you reach, inform, and create buzz with more visitors and residents. You might already have a hashtag for your community, region, or events like farmer’s markets, annual festivals, etc.
But Are Your Existing Creative Placemaking Strategies Sufficient?
Most communities start with the two strategies above. But there are steps that should have happened prior to, and steps that should happen in conjunction with, those strategies. What you really want is a way for your community to gather its cultural assets, and then create a strategy that optimally communicates those assets to residents and visitors. This ensures your community creates a sense of place that attracts residents and tourists over and over again.
3 Critical Creative Placemaking Steps to Turn Your Region Into a Bucket-List-Worthy Destination
Step 1: Cultural mapping: it helps you determine your region’s cultural assets and what is truly unique about your community. Once you’ve identified your community’s top cultural resources you’ll want to communicate those to visitors and residents in the most accessible way possible: at the touch of a finger.
Step 2: Create an app or a progressive web app (PWA) that communicates to visitors, completely from their phones, those local events and activities - in real time - they might not have otherwise known about.
Step 3: Your app or PWA should pull in all community blogs, websites, and social media marketing. Not only does this expand tourism and economic opportunities in your region, but it allows local planners to collaborate with each other.
An app or PWA is especially helpful to regions with broad geographies and diverse community identities. Check out the PWA Hastings County used to elevate their cultural development.
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