November 29: Place-Making as Radical Urbanism: Reinventing Urban Space in the Placeless City

Place-Making as Radical Urbanism: Reinventing Urban Space in the Placeless City

Mark Lakeman, Co-Founder and Creative Director, The City Repair Project in Portland, Oregon

City Talks: Place-Making as Radical Urbanism


This presentation will describe how "placeless" practices and landscapes that characterize modern urban planning are being actively and aggressively retrofitted through place-based citizen engagement. The hot bed of innovation has been Portland, Oregon where the movement got its start with the initiative to create Pioneer Courthouse Square. Then, the movement literally went into the streets of the entire city, and is spreading across the continent as we speak. Drawing on material from North American and European cities, this highly visual presentation will also include all the technical support that is needed to take the inspiration home, and begin the process of recreating your own urban spaces at once.

Mark Lakeman designs, draws, writes, speaks, and builds with equal amounts of pleasure.  His creative satisfaction comes from helping heal the world and loving well.  Mark does this through collaborative design projects and a broad range of creative facilitation avenues.  He enjoys witnessing the creative emergence of other individuals, whether through creating new public spaces in communities which lack them, or listening to someone find their voice.  

Mark’s life-long dedication to building community through design began at his roots.  Both of his parents are activist architects and planners, and from the start they infused him with a sense of creative civic possibility.  From his father’s work to create Portland’s Pioneer Square, to his mother’s investigations of the public spaces in Medieval and Neolithic villages, they both taught him to see constructive possibilities that can emerge when place is a reflection of the people who live there.  Design can destroy the world, or it can save it, help us savor it, and make the human world worthy of our people.  (bio found on