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What is Placemaking?

Placemaking, in simple terms, is the process of creating quality places that people want to live, work, play and learn in.

Overview of the Placemaking Program

Through a creative and collaborative process, the Placemaking Program will empower communities to reshape public spaces to enhance their overall physical, cultural and social identities. The Department of City Planning’s (DCP) Office of Mobility Planning is leading the Placemaking program. The overarching goals of this program is to improve street safety and to transform streets into vibrant, attractive places that benefit the community and businesses alike.

DCP will work with community members to identify and evaluate locations throughout the city to implement changes that can transform spaces into welcoming and vibrant places. The projects selected will receive an investment of $5,000-$50,000.

This program will support a range of placemaking including projects that fall into the following three levels:

Level 1: (1) Day

  • Highly temporary in duration
  • Low Budget

Level II: (4-7) Days

  • Multiple day demonstration or event
  • Moderate approval process and budgetary needs

Level III: (2-3) Years

  • Greatest potential for permanent change
  • Largest budget requirements

Placemaking Action Plan and Flyer:

To guide this program and evaluate future sites for placemaking, we have created the Placemaking Action Plan. For inspiration, ideas and more information, please review the Placemaking Action Plan and Flyer

Pilot Projects:

The Department of City Planning is kicking off this program with three pilot projects. The three pilot projects will allow City Staff and community members to work through the implementation process and test solutions prior to receiving applications for future locations this spring.

Below are the concepts for each pilot project:

Cascade Heights Existing Conditions Analysis and Concept Plan:

Cascade Heights at Cascade and Beecher Road

Virginia-Highland Placemaking Site Plan:

N Highland Ave NE + Amsterdam Ave NE Site Plan

DCP is excited about the opportunity to work with communities to create unique places that add to the character of our neighborhoods. We invite communities to apply for projects that range from decorative street murals to parklets to interactive art.


Contact with Placemaking in the subject line. 

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