Bridging Policy and Placemaking to Activate Vacant Properties: Exploring Barriers and Potential in Minneapolis

July 2017

By: Center for Community Progress, Nicole Heyman

 Creative Placemaking

This report focuses on creative placemaking projects and opportunities to activate vacant properties in Minneapolis using arts and culture strategies. Two projects, Juxtaposition Arts and Made Here, engage artists and residents to change vacant spaces into activated community spaces. It identifies city characteristics that shape creative placemaking efforts, including barriers to quick permitting requests, vacancy patterns, and an array of traditional and neighborhood-based arts organizations. It identified opportunities for creative placemaking include:

  • Developing partnerships between businesses and artists to create pop up arts and culture events.
  • Expanding planning and economic development strategies to incorporate placemakers and community-based organizations.
  • Identifying vacancies for permanent arts and culture spaces.
  • Helping creative organizations navigate zoning and permitting process.


Minneapolis, MN

2010 Population: 382,578

2010 Population Density: 7,088.32/square mile