“In creative placemaking, partners from public, private, non-profit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities.
“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. in turn, these creative locales foster entrepreneurs and cultural industries that generate jobs and income, spin off new products and services, and attract and retain unrelated businesses and skilled workers. Together, creative placemaking’s livability and economic development outcomes have the potential to radically change the future of American towns and cities.
“Instead of a single arts center or a cluster of large arts and cultural institutions, contemporary creative placemaking envisions a more decentralized portfolio of spaces acting as creative crucibles. In each, arts and culture exist cheek-by-jowl with private sector export and retail businesses and mixed-income housing, often occupying buildings and lots that had been vacant and under-used. in large cities, many such hubs reflect the ethnic or historical character of placve and invite residents and visitors alike across porous boundaries to visit, patronize, and enjoy.
“In smaller towns, traditional cultural practices and landscapes are transformed into distinctive cultural centers and festivals that revive emptying downtowns and attract regional visitors. Large cultural institutions, often inspired by their smaller counterparts, are increasingly engaging in active placemaking.
“This white paper summarizes two decades of creative American placemaking, drawing on original economic research and case studies of pathbreaking initiatives in large and small cities, metropolitan to rural, as well as published accounts. The case studies stretch from Providence, Rhode island, to Los Angeles, California.”