This resource is to help you consider using a placemaking approach to the design of public spaces for community safety. These ideas encourage you to think about how your project fits into the local context and how you can engage with and draw on the strengths of the community.

What is placemaking?

A placemaking approach aims to strengthen the connection between people and the places they share. It is a process that brings together experts and the local community to design public spaces that reflect the:

  • social
  • cultural
  • environmental, and
  • economic needs of the community.

Although data is key to understanding and improving the use of public space, community engagement and human-centred design are at the heart of successful placemaking activities.

Research shows that people who feel connected to their community and engage in local prosocial activities are less likely to be worried about crime.

How do I apply placemaking to my project?

Rather than looking at discrete elements or locations, placemaking encourages a holistic consideration of spaces as part of a broader context or precinct, and directly engages with local community in the design process.

To apply a placemaking approach you might consider the following:

  • The needs and interests of different groups (gender, disability, culture, age etc.)
  • Environment/sustainability
  • Local history and character
  • Economic participation including creative industries and social enterprises
  • Mobility/transport/walkability
  • Social and physical infrastructure including social support services
  • Perceptions of safety
  • Rhythms or patterns of community activity (day/night, weekdays/weekend, seasonal etc.)

Watch a video with more information about placemaking.

A simple guide to community-led placemaking (External link) can be found on the CoDesign website.

Organisations who can help with placemaking include:

We have provided a selection of specialist placemaking companies that can assist you on a fee for service basis and there may be others operating locally.

You are encouraged to undertake your own research and to look at their fees and services before deciding whether to engage a place-making expert to support your project.

CoDesign Studio (External link)

Conversation Caravan (External link)

Creative Communities (External link)

Place Partners (External link)

RobertsDay (External link)

Village Well (External link)

Neighbourhood data analysts:

.id (informed decisions) (External link)

Neighbourlytics (External link)

Urban designers:

ASPECT Studios (External link)

Hansen Partnership (External link)

SJB (External link)

Community Crime Prevention
Department of Justice and Community Safety
Date of Publication

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