Journal of Urban Culture Research


Tom Borrup

Publication Date



Participatory city planning led by artists was not in the sightlines of Geddes or Mumford when modern planning practices were born. A century-long trend brings increased requirements and expectations of participation by public stakeholders and growth in neighborhood and district-level planning. Increasingly complex urban environments require cross-sector collaboration and cross-cultural dialogue, in addition to understanding a multitude of culturally specific ways people use public and private spaces. Challenges to the profession grow as the role of planner evolves from engineer to facilitator. This paper reviews these trends as well as recent scholarly work calling for more involvement of creative voices and practices in planning. Through a Minneapolis case, this article examines inclusion of a theater artist, choreographer, vocalist/songwriter and muralist in leadership of a district planning project that generates a richer analysis, more robust options, and offers a greater sense of participant ownership through creative placemaking.



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