Spaces to Places

Transforming Public Spaces into Vibrant Places for the Community.

Reactivating Vacant Properties

I know you have them in your community.   They’re the spots where you say I wish they would do something there.  You know, those vacant, overgrown lots that are not only eyesores but serve as places to dispose of trash and to conduct illegal activities.

Well…why don’t you be the person to do something there.   And to help you get started,  NAR will be having a webinar on Reactivating Vacant Properties into Community Spaces. The webinar, which is free, will be on June 3 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm eastern.   Registration is open.

The webinar will focus on how to address and deal with vacant properties, specifically vacant lots.   To start things off, Jennifer Leonard, who is the Vice President and Director of National Leadership & Education at the Center for Community Progress will give a brief overview of vacant properties and the negative impact on a community.

We will then hear from several organizations on how they are transforming vacant and abandoned lots into community open spaces and vibrant gathering places.

  • Ashe Smith, the Community Greening Coordinator for the Parks & People Foundation in Baltimore will discuss how his organization works with the city of Baltimore’s Adopt a Lot to transform overgrown, vacant lots into green spaces.

  • Sherida Morrison and T-awannda Piper, both from Demoiselle 2 Femme, will tell us about one of the many projects they plan and manage to empower young women.   They will share with us how they engaged the community to transform an unsafe vacant lot in Chicago into a safe, play area for children.

  • Tracey Malooley, Association Executive & Tom Chiado, Board Member, of the Terre Haute Association of REALTORS®, will talk about how they are transforming a vacant lot, which the Association purchased, into a community garden.  This project was funded, in part, with NAR’s Placemaking Micro-grant.

Also take a look these blog posts for more ideas:  Bring Life to Vacant Spaces and Neighborhood Eyesore to Gathering Place for Pooches and People.

So…are you ready to find out how to get rid of that eyesore in your neighborhood?


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.

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Smart Growth

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