Lighter Quicker Cheaper: A Method For Localised Place-Making
Source: Project for Public Spaces (PPS)
As cities struggle to do more with less and people everywhere cry out for places of meaning and beauty, we have to find fast, creative, profitable ways to capitalize on local ingenuity and turn public spaces into treasured community places.
Interestingly, many of the best, most authentic and enduring destinations in a city, the places that keep locals and tourists coming back again and again and that anchor quality, local jobs, were born out of a series of incremental, locally-based improvements. One by one, these interventions built places that were more than the sum of their parts.
The time is right to rethink the way that we do development, using an approach called “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” (LQC). This approach is based on taking incremental steps, using low-cost experiments, and tapping into local talents (e.g. citizens, entrepreneurs, developers, and city staff). These smaller-scale projects are being implemented in a variety of environments, including on streets, squares, waterfronts, and even parking lots.
The Benefits of an LQC Approach
LQC projects quickly translate a community’s vision into reality and keep momentum moving. Ideas can be efficiently implemented, assessed, then tweaked and customized based upon a community’s response. Although a lighter, quicker, cheaper approach is not for every situation, it can be a creative, locally-powered alternative to capital-heavy, top-down planning. Lighter, quicker, cheaper projects:
- Transform underused spaces into exciting laboratories that citizens can start using right away and see evidence that change can happen.
- Represent an “action planning process” that builds a shared understanding of a place that goes far beyond the short term changes that are made.
- Leverage local partnerships that have greater involvement by a community and results in more authentic places.
- Encourage an iterative approach and an opportunity to experiment, assess, and evolve a community’s vision before launching into major construction and a long term process.
- Employ a place-by-place strategy that, over time, can transform an entire city. With community buy-in, the LQC approach can be implemented across multiple scales to transform under-performing spaces throughout an entire city.
Using Placemaking and a Lighter Quicker Cheaper Approach to Create the City of the Future
LQC offers the potential to create profound positive change in the future of cities around the world. By changing the way we think about development to include small scale, incremental changes, an immediate impact can be made on local economies, transportation, architecture and in how destinations are created.
Click through to read the rest of this excellent article from Project for Public Spaces. It goes on to explore (with real-world examples) Public Markets and Local Economies, Building Communities through Transportation, Creating Public Multi-Use Destinations, Toward An Architecture of Place. (An Australian example referred to in the article is Renew Newcastle.)