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An Exploration of the Dimensions of Place-Making: A South African Case Study

Authors: W. J. Strydom, K. Puren


Place-making is viewed here as an empowering process in which people represent, improve and maintain their spatial (natural or built) environment. With the above-mentioned in mind, place-making is multi-dimensional and include a spatial dimension (including visual properties or the end product/plan), a procedural dimension during which (negotiation/discussion of ideas with all relevant stakeholders in terms of end product/plan) and a psychological dimension (inclusion of intrinsic values and meanings related to a place in the end product/plan). These three represent dimensions of place-making. The purpose of this paper is to explore these dimensions of place-making in a case study of a local community in Ikageng, Potchefstroom, North-West Province, South Africa. This case study represents an inclusive process that strives to empower a local community (forcefully relocated due to Apartheid legislation in South Africa). This case study focussed on the inclusion of participants in the decision-making process regarding their daily environment. By means of focus group discussions and a collaborative design workshop, data is generated and ultimately creates a linkage with the theoretical dimensions of place-making. This paper contributes to the field of spatial planning due to the exploration of the dimensions of place-making and the relevancy of this process on spatial planning (especially in a South African setting).

Keywords: Case study, place-making, spatial planning, spatial dimension, procedural dimension, psychological dimension.

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