Designing spaces to bring people together

Morning reading

My first guest commentary for the monthly Traverse City Business News is now out. The guest commentary isn’t online, but copies are on newsstands around town. Editors willing, I will be writing again for the June issue. Have any suggestions for issues in need of commentary?

For my first attempt, “Fostering Connections”, I write to the need to invest in building social capital and community through more inclusive, intentional design of public spaces. In it, I offer one definition of Placemaking:


Placemaking is investing in the public realm to encourage effortless, easygoing, unhurried interactions. Places like pocket parks, trailheads, and dog-parks where civic life can occur without being centered on consumption or entertainment. Places where happiness is pursued through the joy of being an active and socializing contributor to the community experience.

Pick-up a copy or sneak a peek while in the coffee shop, and let me know what you think.


NOTE: Next Wednesday night in Bellaire, I’ll be leading a discussion on the topic as part of ISLAND’s Art, Film, Philosophy series. The discussion is titled, “Design for Chance Encounters with Strangers” and is from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Bellaire Community Hall 202 North Bridge Street, Bellaire, MI.

If you want to ride along from Traverse City, give me shout (the journey will include a stop at Short’s).


April is a great time to consider a donation or to subscribe to a monthly contribution.  

  1. lmaynard
    April 4, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Congrats Gary! Will p/u a copy and look forward to reading it. Nice definition, too. Great work- you’re keeping busy 🙂

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