Public Art, Placemaking, and Creating Livable Places for the Future

APA Minnesota Chapter


Thursday, September 28, 2017
3 p.m. - 4 p.m. CDT

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The cities of Minneapolis and Hopkins are both wrapping up construction of significant corridor placemaking projects; Nicollet Mall and the Artery respectively. While different in scale, both projects aim to make public art a central feature in creating well-rounded, livable, energetic places.  Hear about the trials, tribulations, and victories that come from incorporating public art, creative problem-solving, and innovative design into placemaking projects that will change the face of their cities now and into the future.

Project managers from the cities of Hopkins and Minneapolis will detail the process of planning, designing, and constructing major placemaking projects within their respective cities. The Nicollet Mall project and the Artery both incorporated significant public engagement in order to come to fruition. The design process of both projects brought to the surface numerous challenges that needed to be overcome with innovative and creative thinking and problem solving in order to ensure the projects could be implemented.  Both projects incorporate significant amount of public art, which required the cities to design a process to call for proposals, review work, and select it that was transparent and fair. The construction of both projects brought unforeseen challenges the needed to be managed and solved in real time in order to have the projects delivered on time.

The projects differ in their scale and the environment within which they were conceived and developed. Within these differences also lies lessons learned that can be useful for other professionals seeking to complete placemaking projects within their own communities.

The goal of the session will to provide details about the projects themselves, while focusing on the lessons learned that brought these projects to successful completion. Participants will leave the session understanding the pitfalls that can come with incorporating public art into construction projects, as well as real solutions to avoiding and dealing with these pitfalls. Further, participants will gain knowledge on how to manage both the public engagement side of a large project like this, but also the inter-department engagement that is necessary to have the buy-in needed to get a large project that joins economic development and placemaking goals with the needs of road construction and maintenance.


Megan Beekman

Meg Beekman is the Community Development Coordinator for the City of Hopkins. In that role she manages projects that forward economic development and livability in Hopkins, particularly around light rail planning and its many related projects and opportunities. This work includes supporting the business community, grant writing, and creative public ... Read More

Lisa Middag

Lisa Middag is an urban planner who works collaboratively with communities to create sustainable, vibrant, and walkable public spaces through creative placemaking, urban planning and community/economic development. Lisa was recently hired by downtown Minneapolis’ BID (MplsDID) as the inaugural Director of Nicollet Activation. She previously worked for Hennepin County ... Read More

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