Creative placemaking is a new way of making communities more livable and prosperous through the arts, and making them better places for the arts. Creative placemaking is about more than public art or performing arts centers. It is about making places better for everyone.
Traditional approaches to using arts as a revitalization tool tend to focus on building large institutions, districts or just ‘doing projects.’ Creative placemaking starts with building effective partnerships.
Our approach to creative placemaking is based on six key elements:
- Building diverse and productive partnerships in communities and with local leadership to implement ideas.
- Enhancing quality of life for more people in communities
- Increasing economic opportunity for more stakeholders in communities
- Building healthier climates for creativity and cultural expression
- Engaging existing assets (both physical and human) as much as possible
- Promoting the best and distinct qualities of a place
Our work is guided by the teachings of reflective practice, double-loop learning, asset-based community development, fifth level leadership, arts-based community development, communicative practice, environmental justice, and other current and cutting-edge philosophies of practice.
To learn more about creative placemaking:
- Creative Placemaking, by Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa. This is the white paper that coined the term in the United States. Our work builds directly from this work.
- Creative Placemaking: Integrating Community, Cultural and Economic Development, by Leonardo Vazquez. This white paper expands on Markusen and Gadwa’s work, and offers guidelines for evaluating effective practice.
- The Creative Community Builder’s Handbook, by Tom Borrup. This book is an important foundation for creative placemaking.