Creative Placemaking

Community Progress regularly posts to this blog on a range of related topics to help communities across the country turn vacant spaces into vibrant places. Please check back regularly, and sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest news directly in your inbox.
Problem to Purpose: The Drug Activity Answer for One Lansing Neighborhood, Get Creative
Problem to Purpose: The Drug Activity Answer for One Lansing Neighborhood, Get Creative

Empty lots are open opportunities – for safety threats or community innovation. Pegasus Garden, located in the Prospect PLACE neighborhood in Lansing, Michigan, is a great example of what happens when communities choose option two.

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: Placemaking Brings Community Healing for Residents Impacted by Substance Abuse
Problem to Purpose: Placemaking Brings Community Healing for Residents Impacted by Substance Abuse

Today’s opioid epidemic has become “the worst public health crisis in Pennsylvania,” according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. On average, 10 Pennsylvanians lose their lives to a substance abuse disorder each day. Hinge Collective principals, Alexa Bosse and Ari Miller, are working to find new ways to fight Philadelphia’s challenge…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: From Landlord Neglect to a Circus for Youth
Problem to Purpose: From Landlord Neglect to a Circus for Youth

Newburgh’s Creative Solutions to the Vacancy and Deterioration Challenge Kids flying through the air on isn’t uncommon in one community north of New York City. There, residents and leaders converted a vacant lot owned by a negligent landlord into what’s known today at the Zip Zap Circus — a circus…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: Indiana Teens Recycle to Turnaround Vacant Lots
Problem to Purpose: Indiana Teens Recycle to Turnaround Vacant Lots

Tired-A-Lot Transforms Vacant Properties While Creating Youth Volunteerism Teaching teens to give back can yield more than positive values and great character; it can help change a neighborhood. Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and Northeastern University show there are positive connections between youth volunteerism, health, and academics. One hybrid group of local officials…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: Teens Create Deterioration Answers in Colorado Springs
Problem to Purpose: Teens Create Deterioration Answers in Colorado Springs

A Camera and $500 Turn into a Deteriorated Property Solution “Eventually the youth started asking, ‘Why can’t we just make the changes?’” explained Mia Ramirez of The Colorado Trust. That one powerful question spurred a student group from the Leaders Engaged and Amazingly Determined (LEAD) in Colorado Springs, Colorado to…

Read More...
Power of Placemaking – What Vacancy Victories from Massachusetts, New York, and California Taught Us
Power of Placemaking – What Vacancy Victories from Massachusetts, New York, and California Taught Us

From increased fire outbreaks to elevated safety concerns, there’s no secret property vacancy can weigh down a community. But, how can communities lift themselves up? What are the keys to turning a vacant lot or building into an asset? The answers may vary for each community (and we’re here if…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: From Gas Station to Food Station, Solving Insecurity through Creative Placemaking
Problem to Purpose: From Gas Station to Food Station, Solving Insecurity through Creative Placemaking

According to a 2017 study, a whopping 48 percent of Detroit households are “food insecure.” This means that nearly 30,000 Detroit residents experience hurdles when trying to access to quality and affordable food options. How are residents tackling the challenge? One group, Hope Community (Cool Cities) Park, is tackling food insecurity…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: A Closing Mill Leads Turns into and Art Opportunity
Problem to Purpose: A Closing Mill Leads Turns into and Art Opportunity

Dubbed the “Birthplace of Macon,” the once-bustling Mill Hill neighborhood took a hit when its mill closed in 2015. With the mill doors suddenly shuttering, Mill Hill’s vacancy rate increased to more than 50 percent and mirrored Macon-Bibb County’s 50 percent residential vacancy rate. How did Mill Hill Make Use…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: 10-Week Safety Turnaround through Public Art
Problem to Purpose: 10-Week Safety Turnaround through Public Art

Massachusetts Placemaking Lighting Display’s Downtown Impact The eerie feeling of a dark alley and dim-lit underpass isn’t just a feeling. A recent New York City study showed that increased lighting can reduce crime by as much as 39 percent. Also, when an area is seen as the “dark” side of town, that…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: A Parking Lot Becomes a Beach?
Problem to Purpose: A Parking Lot Becomes a Beach?

More than 30 percent of parents travel with their kids to a beach for enjoyment, but what do you do when the sand’s out of reach? One Sullivan, New York, community answered the question while converting a vacant space into a community asset. Sprinkler Beach is a pop-up project imagined…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: The Drug Activity Answer for One Lansing Neighborhood, Get Creative

Empty lots are open opportunities – for safety threats or community innovation. Pegasus Garden, located in the Prospect PLACE neighborhood in Lansing, Michigan, is a great example of what happens when communities choose option two.

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: Placemaking Brings Community Healing for Residents Impacted by Substance Abuse

Today’s opioid epidemic has become “the worst public health crisis in Pennsylvania,” according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. On average, 10 Pennsylvanians lose their lives to a substance abuse disorder each day. Hinge Collective principals, Alexa Bosse and Ari Miller, are working to find new ways to fight Philadelphia’s challenge…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: From Landlord Neglect to a Circus for Youth

Newburgh’s Creative Solutions to the Vacancy and Deterioration Challenge Kids flying through the air on isn’t uncommon in one community north of New York City. There, residents and leaders converted a vacant lot owned by a negligent landlord into what’s known today at the Zip Zap Circus — a circus…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: Indiana Teens Recycle to Turnaround Vacant Lots

Tired-A-Lot Transforms Vacant Properties While Creating Youth Volunteerism Teaching teens to give back can yield more than positive values and great character; it can help change a neighborhood. Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and Northeastern University show there are positive connections between youth volunteerism, health, and academics. One hybrid group of local officials…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: Teens Create Deterioration Answers in Colorado Springs

A Camera and $500 Turn into a Deteriorated Property Solution “Eventually the youth started asking, ‘Why can’t we just make the changes?’” explained Mia Ramirez of The Colorado Trust. That one powerful question spurred a student group from the Leaders Engaged and Amazingly Determined (LEAD) in Colorado Springs, Colorado to…

Read More...
Power of Placemaking – What Vacancy Victories from Massachusetts, New York, and California Taught Us

From increased fire outbreaks to elevated safety concerns, there’s no secret property vacancy can weigh down a community. But, how can communities lift themselves up? What are the keys to turning a vacant lot or building into an asset? The answers may vary for each community (and we’re here if…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: From Gas Station to Food Station, Solving Insecurity through Creative Placemaking

According to a 2017 study, a whopping 48 percent of Detroit households are “food insecure.” This means that nearly 30,000 Detroit residents experience hurdles when trying to access to quality and affordable food options. How are residents tackling the challenge? One group, Hope Community (Cool Cities) Park, is tackling food insecurity…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: A Closing Mill Leads Turns into and Art Opportunity

Dubbed the “Birthplace of Macon,” the once-bustling Mill Hill neighborhood took a hit when its mill closed in 2015. With the mill doors suddenly shuttering, Mill Hill’s vacancy rate increased to more than 50 percent and mirrored Macon-Bibb County’s 50 percent residential vacancy rate. How did Mill Hill Make Use…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: 10-Week Safety Turnaround through Public Art

Massachusetts Placemaking Lighting Display’s Downtown Impact The eerie feeling of a dark alley and dim-lit underpass isn’t just a feeling. A recent New York City study showed that increased lighting can reduce crime by as much as 39 percent. Also, when an area is seen as the “dark” side of town, that…

Read More...
Problem to Purpose: A Parking Lot Becomes a Beach?

More than 30 percent of parents travel with their kids to a beach for enjoyment, but what do you do when the sand’s out of reach? One Sullivan, New York, community answered the question while converting a vacant space into a community asset. Sprinkler Beach is a pop-up project imagined…

Read More...