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Livable Lesson: Winter Placemaking

Jayne Armstrong and Amanda O’Rourke of 8 80 Cities explain how communities of all sizes can encourage inclusive outdoor programming and placemaking when it's cold (even freezing) outside

Jayne Armstrong and Amanda O'Rourke outside in the cold in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Photo Courtesy 8 80 Cities

Placemaking pros Jayne Armstrong and Amanda O'Rourke of 8 80 Cities in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Winter sports enthusists aren't the only people who can enjoy being outdoors during the coldest and darkest months of the year. People of all ages and abilities can spend time out and about in winter when a community's streets, parks and public spaces accommodate healthy activities year-round. 

Cover type and image of the Winter Placemaking Guide by 8 80 Cities

Click on the image or link below to download the publication.

8 80 Cities (which is based in Canada) understands cold weather. Its free Winter Placemaking Guide guide provides solutions for how cold-weather communities can make their outdoor public spaces welcoming and useful, regardless of how low the mercury falls.

The Winter Placemaking Video Series takes us through the Winter Placemaking Guide, a publication from the placemaking firm 8 80 Cities that explains how communities can embrace winter through an asset-based community development approach that creatively activates and programs public spaces for people of all ages and abilities.

The guide videos show how to implement inclusive winter placemaking along four key themes:

  • Winter Mobility
  • Winter Fun and Programming
  • Winter Warmth
  • Winter Health and Resources

Watch the subject-specific videos below, along with an introduction and how-to video, or scroll down to see all six segments compiled into one.


Lesson 1: Introduction to Winter Placemaking

Learn about winter placemaking as a means of re-envisioning how public spaces are created and used to foster social connections, physical activity and a vibrant public realm.

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Lesson 2: How To Do Winter Placemaking

Jayne Armstrong explains the asset-based community development approach to winter placemaking and how it can be used in small and rural communities.

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Lesson 3: Winter Mobility

Amanda O'Rourke explains how to plan programs and prepare destinations so everyone can safely enjoy the outdoors. 

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Lesson 4: Winter Fun and Programming

8 80 Cities makes clear that winter fun isn’t just for kids! 

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Lesson 5: Winter Warmth

Outdoor public life during winter can be warm and cozy with a few additions and the right events.

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Lesson 6: Winter Health and Resources

Learn how placemaking programs and activities can help people care for their physical and mental health despite the cold.

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The videos on this page were created by an external organization so might not reflect AARP’s public policies or advocacy positions, which can be found in the AARP Policy Book.  

Page published November 2023

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