Placemaking on a Budget

PAS Report 536

By Al Zelinka, FAICP, Susan Harden, FAICP

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Do residents in your community have to travel to Disneyland to experience a distinctive main street? Do visitors need a road map to differentiate your town from the next? Public spaces are failing in many communities — and they are often barometers of vitality, social cohesion, and public health. This report offers help for small towns, neighborhoods, and downtowns that need to enhance identity and social connections without spending a lot of money.

Local characteristics, involved people, and creative thinking are the foundation of the strategies presented in the report, which can be used by public agency staff, public officials, or business and neighborhood leaders in any type of community.

Find out how citizens can get involved in identifying the history, culture, and resources that make their community unique. Learn to recognize opportunities for expressing community values. Case studies show how communities across the country have successfully used the approaches described in the report. Some towns have transformed streetscapes to reflect their agricultural past. Other communities have used bus shelters and security gates as venues for public art.

The report also catalogs resources available to implement placemaking projects and offers organizing techniques, useful worksheets, and tips on implementation.



Table of Contents

Chapter 1. What Is Placemaking on a Budget • The Importance of Placemaking on a Budget • Using Placemaking on a Budget

Chapter 2. Identifying Meaningful Projects • The Two Approaches to Making Placemaking on a Budget a Reality • Community Value-Based Projects
Case Study 2.1: The Downtown Enumclaw • Washington • Streetscape Enhancement Project • Community Canvas-Based Projects
Case Study 2.2: The Revival of Confetti Park • New Orleans • Louisiana • Understanding the Values of Community and Place • Conclusion

Chapter 3. Placemaking on a Budget Resources • People
Case Study 3.1: Bringing Unity to the Community • Phoenix • Arizona
Case Study 3.2: Changing Out at the Volunteer Cafe • Ocean Beach • California • Organizations
Case Study 3.3: Nappanee Seniors Return to School • Nappanee • Indiana • Private Sector
Case Study 3.4: Realizing the Power of Partnerships • St. Andrews • Panama City • Florida
Case Study 3.5: Miracle on 4th Street Park • Long Beach • California • Policies and Programming • Creative Fundraising
Case Study 3.6: Returning the Town Common One Brick at a Time • Goffstown • New Hampshire
Case Study 3.7: Charlie "The Can Man" Groveland and Big Oaks Flat • California • Conclusion

Chapter 4. Implementation • Create Order Out of Chaos • Organization Tools for Implementation Effectiveness • Conclusion

Appendix A. Toolkits
Appendix B. List of References