Spaces to Places

Transforming Public Spaces into Vibrant Places for the Community.

Do you know of a neighborhood in your community that has seen better days and is now a place with vacant storefronts, empty buildings and without much life? If so, you may want to consider “Better Block.”

Better Block is a demonstration tool that rebuilds and revitalizes an area using grassroots efforts to show the potential to create a great walkable, vibrant neighborhood – and even a...

Written by
Kathie Feldpausch, CPA, CAE, RCE
Senior Vice President, MICHIGAN REALTORS®

Perhaps you’ve been following the success of other local associations’ placemaking projects and you’re ready to launch one at your board. There’s just one question – where do you come up with a placemaking idea? How do you convince your board to add “another” new program when members and...

After almost a dozen posts, you should now be familiar with placemaking and where to target your placemaking efforts.    The next thing to decide is what you want your space to become.   What would make the best type of gathering place for your community?

A way to get your feet in and test the waters, as well as to expose the community to placemaking, is with something called Lighter,...

If you’ve been keeping up with the posts to date, you’ve probably thought of at least one space in your community that would be a good candidate for Placemaking. But if you still can’t identify a space, take a second look at vacant lots and properties.

Why can’t they be transformed into people-friendly places?

Vacant spaces and lots provide a blank canvas to create community...

“The street is the river of life of the city, the place where we come together, the pathway to the center.”   William H. Whyte

Are you are still scratching your head as to where to do a Placemaking activity in your neighborhood?   How about the street?  Every town has streets.

Streets make up more than 80 percent of public space in downtowns, but they often fail to...

Congratulations.  You have identified a space to turn around, and are eager to get started, but aren’t really sure what should be done with the space.

As you begin your project, consider starting with petunias!  Short-term actions, like planting flowers, can be a way of not only testing ideas, but also giving people the confidence that change is occurring and that their ideas matter...

As you learn more and more about what Placemaking is and how it can enliven your community, you may be eager to start a project, but are still not sure where--or how--to find or select a space to transform.

Placemaking is not a project for individuals to conduct by themselves. Think of it as a community group project, where a group of interested and vested residents and stakeholders...

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...


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.