Spaces to Places

Transforming Public Spaces into Vibrant Places for the Community.

Written by
Eliezer Rodriguez, Esq.

Association Executive Officer, Bronx Manhattan North Association of REALTORS® (BMNAR)

NAR’s Placemaking Micro-grant could not have come at a better time.  Last September, Kathy Zamechansky was sworn in as the 57th President to lead BMNAR’s Board of Governors.  At her first Executive Board meeting, Kathy emphasized working more...

Written by
Kathy Hall, President, Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS® (MIBOR)

Fortville Action Inc., a volunteer run organization aimed at strengthening and promoting Fortville, Indiana, worked with the town to close off an alleyway from vehicular traffic in order to transform the space into a pedestrian friendly walkway and destination in the heart of downtown....

If you want to create excitement in your downtown, consider open air plazas, squares and pedestrian walkways.  These newly created spaces could serve as major gathering places for the community and help to revitalize downtown areas.

According to Downtown Again, when occupied, public plazas radiate a sense of activity, display a high...

Could your community benefit from having a vacant or overgrown space transformed into a vibrant, green space for everyone to gather and enjoy?  A Community garden may be just the answer.

Community gardens have the potential to beautify vacant lots, augment local food supplies by increasing the availability of fresh, healthy produce in city neighborhoods and provide space for healthy...

Written by
Brian Bonanno, Sustainability Programs Manager Andersonville Development Corporation

Andersonville, Chicago’s former Swedish enclave, is one of those unique places that can only be described as a small town in a big city.  Residents of the neighborhood can’t walk a block without running into someone they know and the neighborhood’s compact scale, diversity and wealth...

Written by
By Jennifer Wieland, Public Space Program Manager, Seattle Department of Transportation

Parklets. “Parks” in parking spaces. Taking away parking to create places to sit in the street.

It sounds crazy, right? Who would want to sit on a deck in the street next to moving traffic? What neighborhood business district or (worse yet!) downtown association would agree...

I’ve been seeing a lot of folks get excited about Placemaking but then not a lot of follow up.   This is due, in part, of not really knowing what to do.

I have a suggestion that can be undertaken in just about any community – a parklet.   And I would love to see a REALTOR® Association create one in their community using...

Written by
By Jef Buehler, State Coordinator, Main Street NJ & Improvement District Programs

While being what today would be considered a quintessential ‘traditional’ community, anchored in access to train transit, historic architecture of the built environment, a diverse mixed-use and fully walkable...


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.