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Rethinking the Urban Challenges of Tomorrow: a Danish Perspective

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2009-2010 Season Past Lecture:

The Art of Place Making: Creating Vibrant Neighbourhoods, Shopping Streets and Public Places

David Engwicht, an internationally acclaimed author of Reclaiming our Cities and Towns, Street Reclaiming and Mental Speed Bumps is a consultant and lecturer in community empowerment, creativity and planning.

This two-part lecture and workshop series unpacked the multiple dimensions of place making from urban design to urban psychology, from traffic issues to social and cultural engagement, from economic development to merchant myths. A major focus was on identifying innovative, low-cost initiatives that will set off a positive chain reaction.

Topics included the following: Why everyone is a place maker; why urban psychology is the core of place making; innovative community engagement; planning for good chaos; role of experience in economic vitality; the seven myths merchants believe.

David Engwicht has pioneered social programs such as the Walking School Bus, Red Sneaker Week, Neighbourhood Pace Car, and Lounging on High. His books have been used as a text in university courses and his latest book, Mental Speed Bumps: the smarter way to tame traffic explains low-cost ways to calm traffic. David is not just a thinker. He is also a practitioner, having just completed two years full time as the Place Maker for the City of Wodonga, Victoria, Australia.

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