Placemaking is a transdisciplinary approach to the shaping of public space and urban settlements to support the needs and desires of communities. Placemakers benefit from a holistic understanding of urbanism and especially how people experience and transform “place” and, in turn, are transformed by it. This seminar course lays some of the foundation for students of placemaking to equip them with a broad understanding of public space, its place in cities and urban settlements, and the various approaches that have developed over the past sixty years to study its use and role. It also looks at how the concept of “place” as a focus of study has evolved in the past few decades, especially in philosophy and humanistic geography, with the renewed interest in human experience as integrally rooted in place. Students in this course will develop a knowledge of the broad themes and debates in a variety of disciplines—geography, philosophy, sociology, urbanism-- that relate to the use, creation and transformation of public space as “place” and its impact on people, both individually and in communities. Students will also become familiar with the theories and skills that planners, designers and policy-makers draw upon to critically evaluate public space so as to inform placemaking decisions. Through readings, discussions, hands-on workshops, diaries and practical applications, students will acquire the theoretical and historical knowledge necessary to evaluate places and begin to formulate placemaking proposals. This course is required for participants taking part in the Placemaking Lab.