Spaces to Places

Transforming Public Spaces into Vibrant Places for the Community.

Before and After - Round 5

The National Association of REALTORS® encourages our state and local REALTOR® Associations to partner with others to make their communities better places to live. Our Placemaking Grant is available to our REALTOR® Associations to help fund local Placemaking projects. Since the launch of the grant in 2014, we have approved over $630,000 in funding for over 300 community placemaking projects. If you have an unused, underused, unwelcoming space in your community, maybe it’s time to transform it into a more welcoming place for the community to gather.

As part of the grant requirements, we ask for a before photo of the current space and a photo of the same space after the project has been completed to show how a space was transformed into a vibrant place for a community to gather.

Here are some of those completed projects. Also see the blog posts on other projects:

North Central Jersey Association of REALTORS®

Creation of a community garden that includes moveable furniture and provides an opportunity for a community gathering and enjoying outdoor space, particularly for the seniors who live next door.


Coastal Carolinas Association of REALTORS® (SC)

Development of a new playground on a vacant lot.  The grant funded a Play Smart Cube. Take a look:


Kauai Board of REALTORS® (HI)

Revitalization of a park to reflect the history and culture of the area and to restore the marshland. The grant funded installation of panoramic photos for a kiosk display on walls inside a pavilion in the park.


 REALTOR® Association of Pioneer Valley (MA)

Creation of a new promenade park. The grant funded a public art piece which was installed in the plaza.


Madera Association of Realtors® (CA)

Creation of a new inclusive, accessible playground. The Madera Association of Realtors® has been a pivotal player in our city this year. It all started with the placemaking grant. Through the collaboration of many partners, including the City of Madera, we invested in the two benches at the new all-Inclusive Park. The project took many months and much design work, but we feel once more, we have made a permanent mark on our city.


Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS® (NC)

Creation of a community garden built by REALTORS®. One of the 15 community service events completed on Realtor® Action Day which was partially funded with the Placemaking Grant. A total of 65 Realtors® helped construct the community garden, install a storage shed, and place several benches on the site for area residents. The church plans to give all produce grown in the garden to the homeless.


Northwest Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® (OK)

Alley activation project which included seating, artwork and Little Free Libraries. REALTORS® pitched in to help build the pocket park.


Maybe we will see your Placemaking project's before/after photo here in 2017.


Community Outreach Programs

Housing Opportunity Grant
Housing Opportunity Grants support state and local REALTOR® Associations’ affordable housing activities. The goal of the program is to position REALTORS® as leaders in improving their communities by creating affordable housing

Smart Growth Grant
Smart growth is an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement. The Smart Growth Program offers state and local REALTOR® Associations to way to engage with government officials, community partners and the general public in planning and designing community’s future.

Planned diversity initiatives makes good business sense. REALTOR® Associations with well-planned diversity programs create a stronger sense of community, particularly in neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreign-born and minority residents who are moving up the socioeconomic ladder and are buying homes.

NAR Placemaking Resources

Placemaking Guide: A Guide to Transform a Public Space into a Community Place
REALTORS® and state and local association staff can learn the details of Placemaking, the kinds of projects placemaking entails, how to organize them, and where to go for assistance and resources.

Placemaking Webinar Series
Our Placemaking Webinar Series will provide more in depth information on the various types of Placemaking and how REALTORS® were involved in Placemaking activities in their communities.

Placemaking Grant
The Placemaking Grant funds the creation of new public spaces, like pocket parks, trails & gardens, in a community. The grant focuses on “lighter, cheaper, quicker” placemaking projects, which can be built under a year and cost less  than $200,000.

Comment Policy

The opinions expressed in reader comments sections on this website are those of the reader and not NAR or REALTOR® Magazine.

Smart Growth

The healthier a community, the better the environment for REALTORS®. Keeping a community attractive, livable and functioning well is a complex task.