Cities around the globe are rapidly growing. The high urbanisation rates bear potentials for innovations, including adaptation to climate change and transformations towards sustainability. However, urbanisation also involves risks of increasing social inequalities, gentrification and displacement. These transformations raise questions about how liveable and sustainable public spaces can be created. One approach to dealing with this is placemaking, which has emerged as a movement, concept and tool for improving public spaces since the 1960s. In 2018 with the launch of two placemaking networks in Norway’s capital, placemaking gained attention among policymakers, practitioners and activists. In 2019 Oslo was selected as European Green Capital and presented itself as a growing, green, innovative, creative and liveable city, which aligns with placemaking’s objectives. To analyse placemaking in Oslo, focussing particularly on the Gamle Oslo district, 19 people involved in the ‘making’ of places were interviewed. Drawing on critical perspectives on placemaking and the engaged programme in science and technology studies, the fuzziness of placemaking was analysed. Identifying liveability claims in the existing placemaking literature and movement as a whole, questions of liveability in Oslo–for whom, why and how–arose. The analysis demonstrates that people realising placemaking in Oslo can be categorised in three groups: top-down public sector actors, bottom-up grassroots actors and placemaking professionals focussing on a small and/or large scale projects. The collaboration between top-down and bottom-up actors is particularly challenged due to public regulations, municipal processes, structures and communication issues. Furthermore, deconstructing place narratives, images and myths are ways to analyse power structures and illustrate in-/exclusion and marginalisation processes and make spatial and social inequalities visible. Moreover, to evaluate whether placemaking de facto is improving public places, potential negative environmental and social outcomes of placemaking need to be assessed further. As such, critical perspectives on placemaking open up a possibility to scrutinise how power structures, dynamics, and place narratives are at play in the case studies of the floating sauna and floating garden, as well as at public space Olafiagangen.