After a year of global screenings and previews, we are proud to announce that The Place Man documentary has now officially been released! You can read about the film, watch the trailer, and stream the full documentary here.

The documentary follows our placemaking journey, starting in the 1960s when we helped lead the transformation of New York's Bryant Park into one of the best public places in the world, to the global placemaking movement we have today. The movie release comes on the heels of our first Global Placemaking Summit, which was a stellar success and marked the beginning of an exciting new era for us.

Global Placemaking Summit - Mexico City, November 2023
A collection of images showing the joyful gathering at the Global Placemaking Summit and the beauty of Mexico City’s streets and public spaces on the Day of the Dead weekend.

Global screenings and pre-premiere events:

In the past year, we have been privileged to have The Place Man documentary included in the Better Cities Film Festival in Detroit, screened at global conferences from France to Mexico, and shown at preview events around the world, most recently landing in Brisbane, Australia. If you haven't seen it yet, now is the time!

We are thrilled to see so many people coming together, often in public spaces, to enjoy the film. We encourage anyone interested to host a screening of your own! Please contact for more information.

Past and Present of the Placemaking Movement

We have spent over 50 years creating great places around the world. From helping transform New York's Bryant Park, Times Square and Rockefeller Center into amazing and iconic hubs of social life, to revitalizing public spaces all around the world, we have learned so much about what makes places great. At the root of it is placemaking.

Learn more about our history and current strategies here:

The Past, Present, and Future of the Global Placemaking Movement
Imagine if the places where we live were shaped for, and from, our social lives, re-imagined to make it easy for us to gather, shop, have fun, eat together, and be around people different from us. we would collectively have an impact on the health of our planet.

What's Next?

The documentary, directed by the wonderful Guillermo Bernal, the Global Program Director for PlacemakingX, got us thinking about the state of the placemaking movement and what's next.

We are seeing so many national and global conversations these days that are rooted in placemaking, whether people are aware of it or not:

  1. The climate crisis that has grown out of a dependence on the cars we use to get around our spread out societies that have drifted away from the human scale;
  2. The severity of the loneliness problem that has largely risen out of this sprawling, disconnected planning and a lack of great public places;
  3. The divisive politics that reign because we have a hard time seeing things from others' point of view, since we have no place to interact with those who are different from us.

Born of these profound issues, we are also seeing ideas about a different way of thinking and planning arise – one that is focused on togetherness and the human experience.

And most importantly, we are seeing more and more people who want to be involved in this new way of doing things. They want to take matters into their own hands by getting actively involved in making their towns, cities, countries and world better. They just don't know how to start in many cases. Placemaking is how. Placemaking is the kind of bottom-up action propelled by the community where everyone has the power to make positive change, and do so right now.

The timing is right for building a broad global movement, something that has been in the making for many years. Now is the moment to bring our efforts together to impact national and global issues by understanding how local these efforts actually are at their heart. We need to work at both ends of the spectrum – from local to global and everything in between– to really turn things around. Together we can make profound positive changes to this world we share.

Covid showed us how important social life truly is to us. The placemaking movement can help get people grounded in their communities and connect them back to the earth where their efforts will have a much broader impact. So many moments are converging and we are realizing how urgent it is to focus on the places we share and the people we share them with. The time for the placemaking movement is now. We invite you to take part.

Stay tuned to the for additional information and updates on the film. We’re working on translations that we hope to make available soon! You can also sign up to our newsletter.

Want to learn more about the Social Life Project and our work? Start here:

Social Life Project Resource Guide
This is a collection of Social Life Project’s articles grouped in our main focus areas - a resource guide for those interested in diving into our work.

If you would like to donate to The Placemaking Fund, you can do so here.

The mission of the Social Life Project is to incite a renaissance of community connection in public spaces around the globe. Through our online publication, presentations, campaigns, and catalytic projects, we can create transformative impact on communities everywhere. Our work grows out of more than 50 years devoted to building the global placemaking movement. It is an initiative of the Placemaking Fund, along with PlacemakingX — a global network of leaders who together accelerate placemaking as a way to create healthy, inclusive, and beloved communities.

If you are interested in collaborating (articles, presentations, exhibits, projects, and more) or supporting the cause contact us.
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