Participation through Placemaking 

The New Environmental Act and Participation

The New Environmental Act will enter into force on 1 January 2021. And there is already a lot of experimenting here and there in the country.

The main points of attention are:

  • Early involvement of parties in decision making

  • Participation is for and by citizens, companies, social organizations and other governments (third parties)

  • Based on trust

  • Environmental law regulates the WHAT, not the HOW

Separated worlds within the walls of Dutch municipalities!

Recent research by the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) shows that there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve fruitful supply chain cooperation.

"Everyone has to get rid of his professional background and put the assignment first," says one respondent. That is not easy, others say: "Destination plan makers and license application providers live in two, almost strictly separate worlds, where there is hardly any cooperation, let alone mutual respect."

Participation through Placemaking

Place and Participation are the core of what is known as "Placemaking". Developed by Project for Public Space (PPS) in New York and inspired by Jane Jacobs and Holly White. The core values of participation Placemaking are: co-production and co-decision. Participation takes place at different levels. We involve residents, local entrepreneurs, project developers, project managers, entrepreneurs, the municipality and people who are connected to the site. The process starts with getting to know the area and meeting the 'Zealous Nuts' in the area. They introduce us to others in the area for forming coalitions. Both Bottom-up and top-down. In this way we work together with the Communities (Community as expert and we as tools) to a date for the so-called Place Game. '

How can it be here if we ...

The Place Game is an extremely important link in the participation methodology. We look at 10 places in small groups. We are ourselves and not the official, the shopkeeper or the developer. We talk about what we have seen and about promising improvements. "How was it here, how is it here now and how can it be here if we ...." There are often 10 things to do in one place. #PowerOfTen. 10x10 = 100 things in an area. From # Space to Place. At the end of the Place Game, a number of participants sign up for the Placemanagent Team (PMT). Usually between 5 and 10 members. And a date is set for the first consultation of the Placemanagement Team.


Further steps include creating a Quick Wins Map and the Place Game Report, a report from the participatory Place Game. With the help of these two products, we then try to develop the space of #FromPlacetoSpace and #Livabletolovable together with the local coalitions. The proposals are then discussed, weighed and analyzed by the Placemanagement Team to come to actions.