Column: Discovering the beauty of placemaking


Commentary by Lorene Burkhart

When I recently noticed a word that was new to me, I was curious about its meaning since it was a combination of two familiar words: place and makers. My old dictionary certainly didn’t have a definition of placemakers, so I Googled it and learned that placemaking is the process of creating quality places where people want to live, work, play and learn.

There was a list of the best placemaking projects in the U.S. which included Bryant Park in New York City, the Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park, Boston’s Adult Playground on D Street, Mojo Robot in San Pedro, Los Angeles and Village Building Convergence 2014 in Portland.

When communities like Carmel continue to improve their public spaces where people can gather, the quality of life is enhanced. Not being able to gather because of the pandemic has created pent-up energy that is bursting at the seams. When the “floodgates” are opened, watch out for the rush! We are all feeling the effects of living in our “safety cocoon” and long for interaction with friends and family.

By March 1, nearly 100 percent of residents at The Stratford will had completed their COVID-19 vaccinations. We will celebrate by resuming our social activities, allowing guests in apartments and having normal dining experiences.

The City of Indianapolis will truly be a placemaker when it hosts the NCAA and Big Ten basketball tournaments in the month of March.

Find your own “place” and become a placemaker.