Home » Press Releases » New Report Explores How Placemaking Principles Can Aid the Revitalization of Legacy Cities (Press Release)

New Report Explores How Placemaking Principles Can Aid the Revitalization of Legacy Cities (Press Release)

January 16, 2014

Charles Village _Let Ideas Compete_flickr_12.20.2010

Flint, MI: The Center for Community Progress has released Placemaking in Legacy Cities: Opportunities and Good Practices, a new report exploring how residents and leaders in Legacy Cities have used placemaking principles to transform blighted public spaces into revitalized community assets.

The report, prepared for the Center for Community Progress by New Solutions Group, LLC, uses case studies to explore placemaking in four different Legacy City settings: downtowns, anchor districts, neighborhoods and corridors/trails. Featured placemaking sites are: Over the Rhine in Cincinnati, Ohio; Midtown, the Georgia Street Community Collective, and Clark Park in Detroit, Michigan; Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, New York; and the waterfront development and associated trail system in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Legacy Cities are former industrial hubs, largely in the Northeast and Midwest, that experienced industrial and population declines during the latter half of the twentieth century. Made possible through the support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Oak Foundation, Placemaking in Legacy Cities: Opportunities and Good Practices examines how placemaking can be adapted to these settings, which often include high vacancy rates, a shrinking property tax base, and other challenges that differ from those of cities experiencing high growth rates and development pressures.

“With their deep history, Legacy Cities have some of the most remarkable public spaces in the country but, given limited resources, those places are often underused,” said Tamar Shapiro, President and CEO of the Center for Community Progress. “We’re excited to release Placemaking in Legacy Cities, which explores both the challenges and successes of Legacy Cities in creating vital public places that strengthen the local community.”

“As a firm that works in the heart of a Legacy City, we are very aware of the great potential that placemaking affords, especially as a tool to help empower people at all levels to make positive change,” said Francis Grunow, a partner at New Solutions Group and one of the report’s main authors. “We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Center for Community Progress on Placemaking in Legacy Cities. It was a revealing process, and we hope that the case studies offer useful ideas for communities to create and sustain better places for everyone to enjoy.”

Placemaking in Legacy Cities: Opportunities and Good Practices is available to download free of charge from

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About Center for Community Progress

Founded in 2010, the Center for Community Progress is the only national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization solely dedicated to building a future in which entrenched, systemic blight no longer exists in American communities. The mission of Community Progress is to ensure that communities have the vision, knowledge, and systems to transform blighted, vacant, and other problem properties into assets supporting neighborhood vitality. As a national leader on solutions for blight and vacancy, Community Progress serves as the leading resource for local, state and federal policies and best practices that address the full cycle of property revitalization, from blight prevention, through the acquisition and maintenance of problem properties, to their productive reuse. Major support for Community Progress is generously provided by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Ford Foundation. More information is available at

About New Solutions Group, LLC

New Solutions Group is a mission-driven consulting firm based in Detroit. The firm has worked for a diverse array of clients, including local, statewide and national community development organizations, regional chambers of commerce, foundations, nonprofit organizations, government, and for-profit entities. The goal of New Solutions Group is to develop smart, innovative, and collaborative solutions for the public good. More information is available at

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