Spaces to Places

Transforming Public Spaces into Vibrant Places for the Community.

Written by Courtney Rudat, Community Outreach Coordinator, Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® (GLAR)

REALTORS® don’t just sell homes, they help build communities. And Greater Lansing agents are proving this right one park at a time.

The Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® is driving its placemaking initiative with an Adopt-A-Park program. As part of...

If you are thinking about a creating a placemaking project in your community but are not sure of where to find a space to transform, here are some ideas.

You probably should not tackle this by yourself.  Find other folks in your neighborhood, or a community organization, and partner with them on a placemaking project.  Your group may then want to use maps to identify the best spots for...

The National Association of REALTORS® encourages our state and local REALTOR® Associations to partner with others to make their communities better places to live.   Our Placemaking Grant is available to our REALTOR® Associations to help fund local Placemaking projects.  Since the launch of the grant in 2014, we have approved over $870,00 in funding for over 300 community placemaking projects...

Take them or leave them, elevated freeways are a mainstay of cities all over the world.  The spaces beneath those overpasses are often underutilized – or utilized in ways illegal or undesirable.  However, many cities are now realizing the potential of these dead spaces.

“In a city as concentrated as San Francisco, how do we creatively and innovatively use space that is kind of dead and...

This is an updated repost from 2015.   Please note that while NAR's Placemaking Grant does fund community gardens, the gardens need to be multi-functional spaces whereby anyone in the community can enjoy it as a destination.   So don't forget to include amenities like walking paths, seating, educational signage, etc.

Could your community benefit from having a vacant or overgrown space...

If you’ve been keeping up with the posts to date, you’ve probably thought of at least one site in your community that would be a good candidate for a placemaking project. But if you still can’t identify a site, you may want to take a look at any vacant lots or spaces as there is a good chance that they can be transformed into people-friendly places for the community to gather.



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.