If you’ve ever noticed how a few benches make a public square more inviting or how a community garden makes a neighborhood feel more livable, then you’ve appreciated placemaking.
Placemaking is a global movement that helps citizens transform their underused public spaces into places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation, and serve common needs. Examples range from playgrounds and public gardens to bike trails and sidewalk seating.
Placemaking can mean many things to many people. There is no standard model in use, but it usually means creating an enjoyable public space where the community can gather. Places that reflect this concept include pedestrian plazas and walkways, parks, community gardens, walking paths, and bike trails.
Placemaking projects can include the whole place or an amenity, such a fountain, a mural, seating, landscaping, or swings. Piggybacking on a major project can be an excellent plan. For example, if a new community facility is being built, such as a library, park, or train station, consider creating a gathering place outside the building.
Does your community have an idea for a placemaking project? Do you need help funding the idea? If so, MIBOR has a limited amount of placemaking grants available. Over the next several weeks we will be looking for projects to consider.
If you have a project planned and would like to be considered for funding, please contact Zach Churney, MIBOR economic and community development liaison at 317-956-5258 or firstname.lastname@example.org.