Reimagining the City: Urban Placemaking for Cultural Transformation with Mark Lakeman

This workshop has now completed. You are encouraged to sign up for our newsletter to learn about future offerings. Please email us if you’d like us to offer this again.



Urban Placemaking for Cultural Transformation

A City Repair Workshop with Mark Lakeman

Saturday, March 30th, 2019 — 9am-5pm — Downtown Santa Cruz

What would you like to create in your community over the next 10 years? Join us for a workshop about building inclusive, sustainable, and resilient communities one block at a time!

Mark Lakeman is a national leader in the development of sustainable public places. Mr. Lakeman is the co-founder of the City Repair Project, and Communitecture, an architectural firm focused on community and regenerative design. The workshop draws on case studies of successful large-scale projects from places like Portland, Oregon, and demonstrates a proven model for engaging the public in the co-creation of thriving, resilient communities.


Families, citizens, neighborhood groups, city planners and elected officials, civil society organizations, housing and transportation advocates, local businesses, permaculture designers, and anyone interested in sustainable cities.


  • How and where do communities grow? How can growth happen while preserving the integrity of neighborhood life?

  • How can placemaking address and involve those who are experiencing homelessness and houselessness in our community?

  • What are other added benefits we can integrate into placemaking in our cities, such as sustainable design that sequesters carbon, recharges groundwater, provides permanently affordable housing, and sustainable transportation?

  • What will we do by 2030 to create community resilience in the face of climate change? What can citizens and neighborhoods do right now, and what are successful strategies for working with government and businesses?


In the morning, Mark will discuss in detail the principles and practices that lead to successful public participation, social transformation, and civic engagement. When our neighborhoods are more connected, we can address challenges in our community collectively.

In the afternoon, participants will workshop how to design commons, engage stakeholders, and implement public placemaking projects by applying strategies, ideas, and principles from the morning’s presentations.

There will be a group of people choosing to workshop the idea of creating downtown commons in Santa Cruz, building upon the discussion that will take place the night before during a public event on this topic with Mark. What is the highest and best use of the parking lots in downtown Santa Cruz that are slated for redevelopment in the coming years? 

Additionally, participants may bring a project from their own community to workshop in the afternoon. If that is the case it is highly encouraged to sign up with other members of your community.

This one-day workshop will take place in downtown Santa Cruz on Saturday, March 30 from 9am-5pm with a 1 hour break for lunch. Participants will have the option to purchase lunch at the beginning of the workshop, and travel together to a restaurant for a group meal.


About Mark Lakeman

Mark Lakeman is the co-founder of the non-profit placemaking organization The City Repair Project, and principal of the community architecture and planning firm Communitecture. Mr. Lakeman is also an urban place-maker and permaculture designer, community design facilitator, and an inspiring catalyst in his very active commitment to the emergence of sustainable cultural landscapes everywhere.  Every design project he is involved with furthers the development of a beneficial vision for human and ecological communities. Whether this involves urban design and placemaking, ecological building, encourages community interaction, or assists those who typically do not have access to design services, Mark’s leadership has benefited communities across the North American continent. These include cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and Ottawa where City Repair Projects are underway.

Stories of Mr. Lakeman’s projects have been told widely, including in such publications as Dwell, Architecture Magazine, New Village Journal, Yes magazine, The Utne Reader, Permaculture Activist and many more. With City Repair, in 2003 Mark was awarded the National Lewis Mumford Award by the international organization Architects & Planners for Social Responsibility for his work with Dignity Village, one of the United States’ first self-developed, permanent communities by  and for previously homeless people.


  • $75 + fees – Early Bird Special – Register by March 15

  • $90 + fees – Full Registration

Register online at

Order hoshigaki for local pickup in Santa Cruz - now through December!