Why you should go quicker, lighter, cheaper | Placemakers’ Visual Stories #5

In this episode of the Placemakers’ Visual Stories, I received Søren Houen Schmidt, co-founder of Rekommanderet in Copenhagen. We talked about how quicker, lighter, cheaper interventions in public spaces can make a big difference in people’s lives.  

It is hard to imagine a space in a different way, when the only reference we have is a sketch on a master plan. It can lead to a lot of resistance from the people who use that space.

Søren says that we have to see it before we can realize it (in Danish: “vi skal se det, før vi kan indse det”).

Instead of spending a lot of money on urban furniture that will take a long time to install (and will maybe not work), Søren recommends to make small changes in the urban environment. To try out new ways of using the space. 

Project for Public Spaces has another expression for these short-term, low-cost interventions: “quicker, lighter, cheaper”. The smallest of changes can make a big difference in how the space is used by people. Which can eventually lead to long-term changes.

Read Søren’s visual story to discover:

  • The story behind Rekommanderet, a consultancy that develops places for and with people
  • Søren’s best practices for those who want to make the city with people
  • How to use small interventions in public space to prefigure long-term changes

See more of Søren’s work on Rekommanderet.


Søren Houen Schmidt Placemakers Visual Stories
Søren Houen Schmidt Placemakers Visual Stories

Sketchnoting to highlight the work of placemaking professionals

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.

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

I scribe the answers of my guests in real time, as they speak. For each episode, the end result is a visual sketch note that maps out the key points of our conversation.

If you want more visual tips and guidance about participation in urban planning, 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.

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