Placemaking Toolkit Resources

NAR Resources

Placemaking Guide from On Common Ground

Social Media

Education and Technical Assistance

  • Smart Growth for the 21st Century: a four-hour course on the value of smart growth, training real estate professionals to become effective advocates for bringing its benefits to their communities. State and local associations are encouraged to offer this course for members and associates; Smart Growth Action Grants may be available from NAR to cover hosting fees.
  • Placemaking Sessions at NAR Conferences: Annual, Midyear, AEI, GAD Institute. Check REALTOR® Action Center for dates and links to presentations.
  • Webinars: NAR offers webinars on various Placemaking topics. Check REALTOR® Action Center for links to webinars.

Funding for REALTOR® Associations

  • Smart Growth Grants: for programs and projects that support REALTOR® engagement in land-use related issues.
  • Issues Mobilization Grants: for state and local issue advocacy campaigns to promote positions on public policies (government laws, regulations, courses of action and funding priorities) that affect REALTOR® interests.

Placemaking Tools and Resources


General Placemaking Projects and Resources

Project for Public Spaces: a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities.

Placemaking Chicago

  • Step-by-Step Guide. Want to do something to improve a public space in your community? Read on to learn how to use the Placemaking process to make your neighborhood a better place.

Principles of Community Placemaking and Making Places Special: Professional Guide: an overview of key principles of community design for local officials, technical professionals and citizen planners involved in planning and development.

Northern Michigan Community Placemaking Guidebook: a guidebook for anyone wishing to create a vibrant, prosperous community.

City Repair: City Repair is an organized group that educates and inspires communities and individuals to creatively transform the places where they live and facilitates artistic and ecologically-oriented Placemaking.

Gardens and Parks

How-To Guide for Creating Pocket Park and Greenspace Projects: Outlines the steps to create a pocket park, community garden or green space in your neighborhood.

Pavement to Parks (Parklet) Program Manual: Guidelines for creating a parklet in San Francisco, also serving as a resource for those outside of San Francisco working to establish parklet programs in their own cities.

How to Create a Community Garden: a few simple steps to follow when creating a community garden.

Placemaking: Designing a Garden for the Community: Designing for a community involves understanding five important steps.

Lighter Quicker Cheaper

Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper: A Low-Cost, High-Impact Approach: Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper is based on taking incremental steps, using low-cost experiments, and tapping into local talents (e.g. citizens, entrepreneurs, developers, and city staff).

Michigan Association of REALTORS®’ Lighter Quicker Cheaper Challenge: Application form, examples and assessment matrix.

Creative Placemaking

Creative Placemaking: Creative Placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.

Creative Placemaking Strategies for Gateway City Growth and Renewal: four high-level takeaways from a Creative Placemaking Summit held in 2011.

ArtPlace: provides communities with creative Placemaking, a grassroots, bottom-up design tool used to identify their goals for their public spaces.

Build a Better Block

The Better Block: News and information on Better Block projects occurring around the world.

How to Build Better Blocks in Your Community: Ten steps to follow to build a better block.

Pop-ups and Temporary Places

No Vacancy! Guide: a practical “how-to” for property owners and potential temporary space users.

Pop Up Project: Temporary actions that will inspire permanent change.

Streets and Transit Streetsblog is a daily news source connecting people to information about sustainable transportation and livable communities.

Traffic Calming 101: ideas on design and management strategies that aim to balance traffic on streets with other uses to help create and preserve a sense of place.

Streets for People: a Primer for People Who Want Quieter, Safer, Friendlier Neighborhood Streets.

Main Street

National Trust for Historic Preservation: NTHP has developed Main Street®, an approach to revitalizing traditional commercial districts in a community.