The National Association of REALTORS’ new Placemaking Initiative provides technical and financial assistance to help REALTOR® associations and their members initiate local revitalization activities.
Placemaking is a strategy to make communities better places to live and work by transforming public spaces into more vibrant community places. The goal is to beautify the community and strengthen the sense of place—capturing and celebrating the geography, history, culture and lifestyle that make a community unique. As a place becomes more desirable and welcoming, properties around that place increase in value.
Examples include turning a parking lot into a farmer’s market, cleaning up litter, planting flowers, installing benches, and launching temporary businesses called pop-ups in vacant storefronts.
The centerpiece of the initiative is the Guide to Transform a Public Space into a Community Place, which details what placemaking is, the kinds of projects placemaking entails, how to organize those projects, and where to go for assistance and resources.
A series of webinars launched in October with “How to Build a Better Block,” which detailed how a group of community stakeholders and volunteers made visible, temporary changes to a downtown area to envision what it could become in the future.
More instructional webinars are planned for 2014, along with presentations at NAR’s 2013 Conference & Expo in San Francisco and other events.
Funding for placemaking projects is available through NAR’s Smart Growth Action Grants. For more information, contact Holly Moskerintz at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to realtorparty.realtor/community-outreach/placemaking.