Creative Placemaking

Creative Placemaking

Creative Placemaking is an inclusive participatory planning process that engages community members, municipal leaders and other local stakeholders in making decisions about how arts and culture can be used to make neighborhoods and towns more attractive, enjoyable, and resilient places to live. This creative, mutually beneficial work raises residents’ quality of life both socially and economically.

ArtsBergen project managed The Main Gateway Mural an example of a creative placemaking project, done in collaboration with the Main Street Alliance of the city of Hackensack, NJ.

Social benefits

Creative placemaking provides social benefits, because arts and culture speak to everyone, they evoke shared human emotion. Arts experience transforms peoples’ perception of being different into a recognition of being the same. This inspires mutual trust and understanding, unifying and strengthening community identity, pride, and loyalty. Levels of crime and delinquency are reduced. Engaged residents are motivated to become active citizens who participate regularly in civic and public events and who support local government by attending meetings and volunteering.

Economic benefits

Creative placemaking provides economic benefits, because it produces inviting, exciting streetscapes and environments that draw residents and visitors. People who enjoy places keep coming back, increasing retail traffic and attracting new businesses. The National Endowment for the Arts says creative placemaking “animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire and be inspired.”

To learn more about how creative placemaking is being implemented in other parts of the country, please read three articles on “the rationale, practice, and benefits of creative placemaking” published by Public Management (PM) magazine. These articles can be found here.

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