Community arts and creative placemaking are important in a modification of places. This paper visits the factors that should be considered in community art to help create the sense of places and the wellbeing of the city dwellers as well as improve the economy of the United Arabs Emirates. City authorities in the UAE, and around the world, need to understand human needs, behavior, values, and cultures in order to promote comfort of the city dwellers by creating places and allowing the public arts that relate to the cultures in question. All the parties involved in the place making need to cooperate for effective planning and management of public arts. The aim of the place makers and the community artists should be aware of the economic potential that city places have. Public arts should promote the possibility of business establishments in various places. Artistic features, if well planned and managed, provide an opportunity for growth to the places they are placed in. Consideration of various factors in community art promotes integration and coexistence of the city dwellers making.

Community Arts and Creative Placemaking


It is with no doubt that modern cities could not have developed to where they are today if place makers and community artists are not involved. It is also impossible that cities, like Abu Dhabi, have come to their status without contribution of skilled public artists to depict the culture of the people living in those areas. The full potential of places in these cities is not fully tapped and public art holds an important key towards this. (Ben-Joseph, 2005). My opinion is that modern cities around the world have to agree to the several factors that influence public arts if they have to promote more economic growth and diversity in various places (Rogerson et al, 2011). It is necessary that the cities have to examine these factors to optimize the importance of places to the public.

Human behavior and culture should be the guide to achieving the maximum benefit of these arts. The understanding of human behavior is a must because the creation of places and community arts involve the use of money, and energy, they, therefore, must capture the public attention. Examination of the factors affecting the public art will help the cities prevent rejection of the infrastructures and other public places from the public. The public will be attracted to well sculptured arts in the streets and their number will dictate the kinds of businesses required to satisfy their needs. This will subsequently impact the economies of the cities.

Placemaking is a philosophy and a process of planning, designing and managing public spaces. Placemaking recognizes community art as an important aspect that links local community to the created places.


Places, People and their culture

Creation involves bringing the components of the place together. It also involves people and their culture, and the creation of the convenience to allow optimum interaction of the components and people. Involvement of culture indicative public art increases the overall convenience and attraction of the place.


Public artists should also explore the principle of accessibility to their creations. Making the public arts accessible creates economic opportunities and active uses. On the other hand, placemaking creates a place where business establishment is the easiest (Markusen et al, 2010). A creative artist identifies where there is activity and creates an art that would increase the chances of increasing the accessibility. Creation of a public art also requires innovative ideas, political support and finances. Most people agree that public arts that are accessible create interest and results in people's activity. Access of public arts within the cities, when eased, promotes activity from the interested people within these cities and subsequent place establishments.

Involvement of All Parties

Before, and after, the design of the place is drawn, it is prudent that all parties be involved in order to encourage the public use of the art. These parties can also increase the impact of public art by helping coordinate schedules of the projects. The users of the public art hold the key to the success of the creation. They have the insights and realistic ideas of how the culture of the place functions.

They can provide ideas on the issues that they think to be essential for improvements. Taking these ideas and incorporating them can impact the place. Involvement of all parties in the creation of a public art is important as such an art contributes to their culture symbolically (Markusen et al, 2010). People make places more interesting, more diverse and more active. Involvement of the public, thus, helps make interactions spontaneously more possible. When a place maker intensifies and mix activities and arts he creates a promise that visitors can fall onto the fun, meet other people, or identify an opportunity. It is arguable that the architects and other built professionals can be able to design the most interesting places. However the full potential of a place can only be realized when the public culture and values are considered in order to make arts that are relevant to them.


To create interesting places, there should be the focus on the distinctiveness. Distinctiveness is driven by creativity; to improve the beauty of the place and make it smell sound, feel or look good. Public arts are as diverse and distinctive as are different cultures. These distinctive arts, if incorporated in city streets, help make places distinctive. If a place expresses distinctiveness it is likely to have long-term appeal. Everybody knows that most cities are highly distinct. Different cities are composed of culturally distinctive dwellers. This is what makes up the diversity of different cities, streets and places within them, because of incorporation of different arts that reflect the cultures in different cities.

Inherent Potential of Different Public Arts and Places

Places and public arts have inherent potentials. Qualification of the places and arts that are to be developed explores them to create opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds, and increase the diversity of the economy in the community. All places have hidden potential just waiting to show up. Public arts can supplement this potential. Governments and place makers who want to develop planned cities may be less confident with some areas. Study of places before various arts are made is necessary to establish the hidden potentials of paces. Study of areas and the most relevant arts helps to leap the maximum benefits of a place.

I support my opinion on this matter by showing how good public arts in the streets affect the places, people who live there and their economies. First, resources and talents are used to help give form to the intrinsic potential of the target place. A well-drawn picture of a place increases the value of that place. To successfully draw the picture of a place, the public arts should be considered in order for a place to be culturally relevant (Brown et al, 2009). Secondly, when the value increases due to the public arts, the place becomes more inclusive to spur economic growth as well as success among those who live there. Success provides a number of points of entry and association for individuals of all economic status. Thirdly, diversity encourages integration of the community and subsequent access to opportunities for all it makes them coexist and, as a consequence, peace is built. Consequently, placemaking impacts on the stability of the country.

A public art can be huge or small. It can tower fifty feet high or call attention to the paving beneath our feet. Its shape can be abstract or realistic or both. (Association for Public Art, 2014)

Spirit of the Public

The willingness of the community members influences the artistic process. Patience and adaptability of the participants is important, and people can only contribute what their culture and roots provides.

Active Participation of The Members Of The Community Towards Creativity

Inclusion of all members of the community involves giving them roles to play (Fleming, 2007). The manner of inclusivity differs from project to project.


Pitfalls into a successful placemaking can be overcome by a tactical examination of those factors. This helps optimize the use of space, garner support from all the interested parties, leverage the intrinsic potential of that place, and diversify the activities carried out in that place (Brown et al, 2009). Employment of modern tools provides the means for the artists to express their artistic talents that would impact on the total outcome of the creation. Such tools are important because they help create distinctiveness (Hou, 2013). Modern tools of public art also help the public artist to simulate the reality and increase the chances of success. Study of human behavior and reaction towards the community arts provides good information that is important in innovation. It is important to correspond to the design of a place to the known and the expected human behavior to make them play in concert.

Maintaining mutual respect and consideration among the parties involved is important as it helps them accomplish the common goal. It is mutual respect that provides for satisfaction of needs of various parties in the process (Hou, 2013). The created public art and places will give an opportunity for the members of the public to intermingle, integrate and co-exist. Integration holds a significant role in peace building as the members of the public become friendlier to each other. Integration among members of the community occurs when the have frequently met each other for a long time to make them live with each other with ease. Integration is akin for coexistence.

When people integrate, and coexist, they exhibit diversification of activities. Diversification of activities leads more happiness as most if not all human needs are satisfied. Diversification of activities is an important factor in the economic diversification. It means that the economy is not dependent on a single activity and hence it stands a chance to thrive (Hou, 2013). Economies around the world bank on economic diversification to develop. Economic development creates wealth to the communities and the governments. A good example is how the cities of the United Arabs Emirates contribute to the national wellbeing (Jodidio, 2007)

Placemaking and public art are inspired by the assets of the local community and its potential so that to create better public places, and promote people's well-being, health and happiness. Impactful community art and placemaking hold a place in economic development of all cities and are keys to making inhabitants of those cities happy.


Ben-Joseph, E. (2005). The code of the city: Standards and the hidden language of place making. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Brown, L. J., Dixon, D., & Gillham, O. (2009). Urban design for an urban century: Placemaking for people. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Fleming, R. L. (2007). The art of placemaking: Interpreting community through public art and urban design. London: Merrell.

Hou, J. (2013). Transcultural cities: Border crossing and placemaking. New York: Routledge.

Jodidio, P. (2007). Architecture in the Emirates. Hong Kong: Taschen.

Markusen, A., Gadwa, A., National Endowment for the Arts., Mayors' Institute on City Design., United States Conference of Mayors., & American Architectural Foundation. (2010). Creative Placemaking. Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts.

Rogerson, R. J. (2011). Sustainable Communities: Skills and learning for placemaking. Hatfield, Hertfordshire: University of Hertfordshire Press.

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