Together we make places: Designing connections in urban space

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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Place-making initiatives have gained momentum in recent years to establish stronger urban communities. Through place-making, people attach meaning to spaces and they become places. While place-making initiatives have traditionally been designed and implemented from top-down, more and more scholars call for a participatory and bottom-up approach, for place-making to realise its full potential in creating strong neighbourhood communities. In this context, the thesis explored how the knowledge from Participatory Design and place-making may confluence to move from spaces to places in a more inclusive and community-driven way. The main research question was: How can Participatory Design facilitate place-making in urban settings across physical space, social connections, and institutional support? This thesis presents a framework for participatory place-making, build from place-making and Participatory Design literature and evaluated using six participatory place-making interventions that were designed, implemented, and evaluated in neighbourhoods in The Hague, Rotterdam, and Cork (Ireland). The framework contains five principles (emergent, empowering, inclusive, playful, reflective) that should guide the design of participatory place-making interventions and is complemented with five guidelines to design for participatory place-making.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Brazier, F.M., Supervisor
  • Lukosch, S.G., Supervisor
  • Comes, M., Supervisor
Award date18 Feb 2022
Print ISBNs978-94-6366-499-8
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Place-making
  • Participatory Design
  • Communities
  • Design interventions


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