Economics of Place: The Art of Building Great Communities

October 01, 2014
Michigan Municipal League

This book goes beyond placemaking as a concept, to offer real-world examples of economic drivers and agents of social and cultural change in Michigan’s own backyard. They represent some of the many place-based catalysts that can spark the kind of transformational changes that reinvent and revitalize a community, with tangible payoffs in terms of livability, social and cultural enrichment, and economic development. But most of all, they show us that placemaking is an art not a science, and displays itself in as many shapes, sizes and colors as a community can imagine.


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ArtPlace America Accepting Applications for its National Grants Program

September 29, 2014
ArtPlace America

ArtPlace America is currently accepting Letters of Inquiry for the 2015 round of its National Grants Program.  Since 2011, ArtPlace has contributed $56.8 million to 189 projects across 42 states and the District of Columbia. This year ArtPlace intends to support approximately 40 projects with roughly $10 million. These grants target creative placemaking projects, in which art and culture help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities. Any individual or organization within the United States or U.S. Territories is eligible to apply.

For more information or to submit an application, please visit The submission deadline is November 3rd at 3:59pm EST.

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Placemaking’s Ripple Effect: How a Beach Downtown is Making Waves in Detroit

September 26, 2014
Project for Public Spaces

At first glance, a Google image search for the term “Detroit” returns an alarmingly one-sided portrayal of the Motor City. Photographs of crumbling buildings dominate so much that other parts of the story – a Tigers game, a skyline view, a Diego Rivera mural – fade into the background. Scroll a bit further and one image breaks through the monotony – a beach.

For the second year in a row, there is a seasonal beach in downtown Detroit complete with sand, colorful seating and umbrellas, a beach bar, and a custom deck. It sits at the southern end of Campus Martius Park, the vibrant public space that has helped spur major reinvestment and redevelopment efforts in surrounding blocks since it opened in 2004.

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Creative Placemaking Grant Opportunity

September 25, 2014
National Endowment for the Arts

The Arts Endowment’s support of a project may start on October 1, 2015, or any time thereafter, and extend for up to two years.

OUR TOWN: Grant Program Description Art works to support creative, economically-competitive, healthy, resilient, and opportunity-rich communities. Excellent art is an essential part of building a strong community, as important as land-use, transportation, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety.  Artists and community development practitioners across our nation --sometimes one and the same, sometimes working together -- are striving to make places more livable with enhanced quality of life, increased creative activity, a distinct sense of place, and vibrant local economies that together capitalize on their existing assets. The NEA defines these efforts as Creative Placemaking.

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Smart Growth America - 2015 Free Technical Assistance Workshops

September 22, 2014

Free annual workshops

Each year, Smart Growth America makes a limited number of technical assistance workshops available to interested communities for zero cost. This competitive award gives communities a chance to understand the technical aspects of smart growth development through a one- or two-day workshop.

Applications are now being accepted for our 2015 workshop series. Communities can apply for one of 12 workshop types as part of the free program, including:

Any unit or subdivision of local government, Indian tribe, or regional government is eligible to apply for these free workshops. Communities may apply for more than one workshop, but must submit separate applications for each. Applications are due by Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM EDT. 

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