How to avoid social washing in placemaking | Placemakers’ Visual Stories #1

In Placemakers’ Visual Stories, I invite some of the most seasoned placemaking practitioners in Copenhagen to share their everyday experience with participation and citizen involvement in urban planning. From the who, to the what, how and why… they explore and clarify the art of making cities with people – and not only for them. For this first episode, we talked about the risk for “social washing” in placemaking and how to avoid it, with Lyng Brøndum Dyrholm.

Sketchnoting to highlight the work of placemaking professionals

As you know, The Urban Mycelium’s mission is to use illustration as a tool to bring more attention to participation in urban planning and development. This is the reason why I will scribe the answers of my hosts in real time, as they speak. For each episode, the end result is a lively sketch note that maps out the main milestones of our conversation.

Placemakers have a special drive for making a difference in the way we make cities, through their everyday practice. With these Placemakers’ Visual Stories, I want to make their inspiring work more visible and understandable, because I believe it matters!

How to avoid social washing in participatory urban planning with Lyng Brøndum Dyrholm

In this first episode of the Placemakers’ Visual Stories, I interviewed Lyng Brøndum Dyrholm, urban sociologist and co-founder of Plads in Copenhagen.

We cover several key topics, including:

  • How to make the city with people, and not only for them
  • Common myths people have about placemaking
  • Must-have skills to have in order to make great cities with people
  • The risk for “social washing” in participatory urban planning and how to avoid it

Connect with Lyng:


create sustainable cities through community

If you want more visual tips and guidance about participation in urban planning and design, sign up to The Urban Mycelium’s newsletter down below!

Mathilde Riou

Mathilde is an urbanist and facilitator dedicated to change the way we make cities. She created The Urban Mycelium blog with the aim of revealing the invisible human dynamics that help the city grow better.

Sign up to stay updated and receive future articles!