Spaces to Places

Transforming Public Spaces into Vibrant Places for the Community.

NAR's Placemaking Initiative to the Rescue

The first several posts introduced you to this thing called Placemaking which hopefully piqued your interest. You may have looked around your neighborhood and thought about a space or two that would be an ideal spot to convert back to or into a new place for you and your neighbors to gather and enjoy the amenities.

If so, NAR is here to help you. Recognizing the value of Placemaking to the real estate community, we created several resources to help our state and local REALTOR® associations, and their members, become engaged in Placemaking in their communities.

NAR's Placemaking Guide

The core of our efforts is our Placemaking Guide. The Guide gives you an overview of Placemaking and details of the various types of Placemaking activities such as Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper and Creative Placemaking.   It provides guidance on how to get started and how to ensure your project will be a success.

The Guide includes examples of Placemaking across the country including those where REALTORS® participated. And, if you want to explore Placemaking in more detail, the Guide gives you a listing of additional resources.

We also developed a series of webinars to explore Placemaking topics in more detail and to talk to experts in the field.

Our first webinar was on something called Lighter, Quicker Cheaper which involves taking small, incremental, low cost steps to quickly turn your community's vision into reality and build momentum for further improvements. These projects could include community gardens, “parklets”, or dog parks.

This was followed by webinars on Better Block and Main Street two different approaches to the revitalization of downtowns or commercial corridors.

We then pulled all these ideas together to show our commercial members how they can become involved in Placemaking and how it could benefit them and enhance retail opportunities in a neighborhood.

None of these projects can be done without resources and NAR has two grants to help our REALTOR® Associations with Placemaking projects.

The Placemaking Micro-Grant is targeted at smaller projects and funding is available for up to $2,500 via an easy online application process.

The Smart Growth Grant is for larger projects that address land use issues on a larger scale. Funding is available up to $15,000 and applications can be submitted four times a year.

And finally we provide technical assistance for those who may have a question or need more direction on a project they are thinking about.

So what are you waiting for? The time is right for you to start turning things around in your community and NAR is here to help.


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.