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Creative placemaking is the practice of enhancing a neighborhood’s quality of life through arts, culture, and intentional community development to meet the visions of the people who live, work, and play in the space. This practice can take varying forms including, but not limited to, temporary visual art installations, performance events, and developing permanent, brick-and-mortar spaces.
Creative placemaking is about more than just creating artistic attractions, though. Creative placemaking also connects to the resources of a community’s own arts, culture, and identity, and in doing so can help communities understand its past, examine its history, and together look ahead toward a more just and inclusive future. For many communities, an examination of shared history is not easy. Community development in the United States is interwoven with racist and unjust policies that benefited some communities at the expense of others. When done equitably, creative placemaking can be one way for communities to leverage creative expression to reshape a community, reverse the systemic silencing of residents, and spur investment.
In the last decade, philanthropic and government entities have invested millions of dollars into creative placemaking endeavors. Within this broad, growing field exists a subset of creative placemaking efforts: those taking place on vacant, abandoned, and underutilized properties. Community Progress’ work over the last several years offers insight into how communities across the country are using creative placemaking to address problem properties and advance community-centered revitalization—and the challenges that sometimes stymy these efforts. You will find these pages full of resources to inform you, inspire you, and ultimately help you implement creative placemaking. We look forward to growing our collective knowledge and helping communities revitalize vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties through arts and culture.
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Creative Placemaking Resources
Get Inspired! What would you think if you encountered performance art, led by young people, on a vacant lot? Incorporating the arts into place-based community development can spark fresh interest in vacant property. See what others are doing by exploring creative placemaking projects from across the country or share your own project to be included!
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of creative placemaking projects on vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties builds community among residents.