Spaces to Places

Transforming Public Spaces into Vibrant Places for the Community.

A lot of folks may wonder what does placemaking have to do with the National Association of REALTORS®, REALTORS® and real estate.  The simple answer is that the more vibrant public places and open spaces there are in a community, the more desirable a community becomes and the more desirable a community becomes, the more likely it is  for property values to increase.

In addition to...

Placemaking means different things to different people and organizations. There really doesn’t seem to be a consensus or a common definition of it.  As for me, Placemaking is one of those things where when I see it, I know it’s placemaking as it represents a great place for the whole community to gather and enjoy.  And usually those places share some common attributes:

  • Creates a
  • ...

Just about everyone is becoming involved in placemaking projects including folks in the land use and real estate development arena.    And to showcase some of these amazing projects, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) created the Urban Open Space Award, an annual competition that recognizes outstanding examples of...

The National Association REALTORS® encourages our state and local REALTOR® Associations to partner with others to make their communities better places to live and work.   Our Placemaking Micro-grant is available to our REALTOR® Associations to help fund local placemaking projects.

Since the launch of the Placemaking Micro-grant in January 2014, we have approved over $200,000 in funding...

We get many Placemaking Micro-grant applications for community gardens.   We do consider community gardens to be a placemaking project assuming that they will be multi-functional gardens so that the whole community can have a place to gather and enjoy and not just a handful of gardeners.

While I have seen several ideas to make community gardens more open and inviting to others such as...

We all know Placemaking is a great way to create vibrant public places for the community to gather but did you know it can also help to manage Federal, state and local environmental requirements.

Paved, vacant lots in urban centers can be more than just an eyesore — they can do environmental damage by trapping heat and adding to the problem of polluted runoff washing into creeks and...

Spaces to Places is on hiatus this week as I hit the trails – literally  –  in Montana where there is plenty of placemaking happening including a variety of recreational trails and natural playgrounds.    From Mother Nature’s awe inspiring places – Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks – to several placemaking projects created by local REALTOR® Associations including ones in...

Placemaking projects can be big or small but no matter what their size the ones that I think make the biggest difference to the community is how they transform an unused, unsafe, unwelcoming space into a vibrant, fun, safe place for the community to gather.

So I found of interest an article by Jessica Leber called...

I am a member of IEDC (International Economic Development Council).   IEDC has started to recognize placemaking as a way to help revitalize communities and to advance the economic development of an area.

In a recent issue of ED | NOW, there was an article entitled "Making Small or Unusual Spaces into Great Public Places".   I re-posted...


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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Placemaking is a way to make your community a better place to live and work by transforming public spaces into vibrant community places.