This report brief provides examples of how UPMOs and placemakers are expanding their role in economic development and reclaiming public spaces for the people.
This presentation covers some of the issues in the Bold Placemaking Top Issues Council.
Vancouver Mural Festival and Downtown Vancouver BIA’s year-round placemaking projects range from small to significant activations with many partners. Pitching innovative ideas to properties and businesses can prove challenging, but Canada’s first public Augmented Reality festival did just that as it launched amidst a pandemic in 2021.
Explore the implementation of placemaking projects and use of tactical urbanism traffic calming funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative in mid-sized cities throughout the United States. This session will include a deeper dive into logistics, challenges and successes experienced in Richmond, Virginia.
Through small urban contextually appropriate projects, urban acupuncture and the archeology of local knowledge facilitate social and physical changes in the larger context beyond the district. This type of placemaking technique serves as a catalyst for the regeneration of dormant social networks and capital exchange.
Guillermo Bernal is the Executive Director of Fundación Placemaking Mexico and Board Member of PlacemakingX. With ten years of experience, he has worked with over 200 public spaces in Mexico, Latin America, and Spanish-speaking communities worldwide, focusing on creating participatory and sustainable communities.
TGIFood Trucks was a summer pop-up of a rotating variety of food trucks and cuisines. Open to the public and free of charge, the goal was to encourage community connection and gathering in a safe outdoor space during the pandemic, and increase the area’s reputation for being fun and a foodie haven.
Gallery Alley began as a temporary pilot project with the goal of creating more walkability and increasing safety. Downtown Wichita received a grant to reestablish the space as a permanent destination for an intersensory art experience. Five Kansas artists were commissioned to create sculptures with a multi-sensory approach in order to be accessible to those with vision as well as those who are blind, visually impaired, and for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Let’s Glow SF is a 10-night holiday activation, the largest holiday projection mapping event in the country. Shows were played in a continuous loop with custom music starting at 5:30 pm and ending at 10:00 pm. Each light show ranged in length from five to seven minutes. Let’s Glow SF received wide media praise for its innovative use of art and technology to bring visitors and workers back to downtown, which had been suffering under the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the devastating cultural and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, Black Joy StoryWindows was an effort to create a safe, outdoor, walkable and driveable, multi-media storefront gallery experience in the heart of downtown Oakland and simultaneously keep alive, and in the community’s consciousness, the power and beauty of the Black Joy Parade, an annual parade that follows the same footprint as our StoryWindows project.
Peacock Alley emerged as a location from an initiative led by Centro to gather feedback from the community to develop a placemaking action plan for the Houston Street corridor. The placemaking effort set out to provide novel play experiences while supporting local small businesses and artists.
For decades, there has been a deficiency of park space in the downtown core. Recognizing this gap, the City of Edmonton set aside 1.7 hectares of underdeveloped and vacant land in west downtown to be the future home of a central downtown park in 2026.
As part of our DELIGHTFUL DOWNTOWN lighting installations, we developed a new light projection series that is being displayed onto the former Halifax Memorial Library building at Grafton Park from October 2021 until the end of March 2022. The series features a total of 12 different light shows over five months that changes to reflect relevant seasonal, heritage and cultural themes. Each month comprises of a main show that is accompanied with a shorter show.
The Allegheny Overlook, or ‘AO,’ was a brand-new pop-up park that transformed a portion of Fort Duquesne Boulevard in Downtown Pittsburgh, highlighting live performances, arts, and culture while showcasing one of Pittsburgh’s most iconic riverfront views. The pop-up park reimagined a peripheral boulevard and an underutilized riverfront park in the city’s urban core, creating a more vibrant Downtown in a city rebounding from the effects of the pandemic.
This session examines how cities are reclaiming public spaces after two years with little to no programming and activation. Learn from seasoned professionals’ experiences and creative approaches to breathing new life into the public realm as cities look to reengage with their residents and visitors and recover economically.
This presentation focused on three cities (San Francisco, Berkeley
, and Los Angeles) and how they identified challenges the pandemic presented to their downtowns and strategies being implemented to fuel the recovery. Challenges include the increase of homelessness and violence related to the civil unrest; lack of pedestrian traffic and downtown workers; and the role safety, security and cleaning played during the pandemic. Learn what strategies were implemented and positive outcomes achieved.
Public safety has always been at the forefront of the work of UPMOs. The reality and perception of crime in dense urban districts continue to impact the return of workers and vibrancy in the urban core. IDA is inventorying best practices and trends and will publish findings from this discussion and other data collection. Participants will be split into breakout rooms to maximize discussion time. Please note: the breakout rooms of this discussion were not recorded.
What is placemaking? Why do we activate spaces in our districts? Join this panel discussion and learn from three practitioners whose focus is placemaking and activations. Learn how they manage their time, create workplans, measure ROI and develop relationships with internal staff, city partners, businesses, and residents. We want to take this opportunity for you to participate and we encourage attendees to bring questions and share best practices with the audience.
Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) unveiled the “Bethesda Streetery” in June 2020 as an economic recovery response during the COVID-19 pandemic. The open-air eatery featured an outdoor seating design with tables and chairs placed on closed streets in downtown Bethesda, MD. Streetery attendees were invited to “Picnic on the Avenue” after picking up food and beverages from any local Bethesda restaurant.
Rosslyn, Virginia is a community of over 25,000 employees and 15,000 residents who work or live in the buildings that make up Arlington’s iconic skyline along the Potomac River. Dozens of large, top-tier companies like Nestle, Microsoft, Deloitte and Gartner call Rosslyn home, so when the pandemic hit, the Rosslyn BID quickly began re-envisioning the future of work in Rosslyn, not only for employees, but the Rosslyn residents that were now working from home.
Street Show Artists Unite for Justice was a virtual expansion of our street performance program that produced live streaming shows from our regular slate of street performers, as well as specially recorded and edited “Street Show Gems” that were taped at quintessential locations throughout downtown Minneapolis. Following George Floyd’s killing, all artist payments were matched by Mpls DID contributions to social justice organizations selected by the participating artists.
Activating public space is crucial to bringing people back to the district as we move into recovery mode. Making this happen takes a lot of work developing the right partnerships to make your activations successful. Learn from two seasoned professionals how they approached activations during the pandemic and how they are moving into recovery mode which includes incorporating storefronts to benefit businesses more directly.
This practical and tactical session will address the opportunities and challenges downtowns and commercial districts have in repositioning our public spaces in the post-COVID-19 world. The panelists will address flexible design strategies, safe and healthy operations and working with businesses, public agencies and partners to creatively address new uses and demands for our sidewalks, streets and open spaces.
Producing events during a time of public health uncertainty can be challenging. This session explores how three organizations are revamping their events, enhancing their social media strategy and creating inviting spaces while limiting attendance. Speakers will discuss the future of events and the inconsistencies each of them are facing regarding the decisions to hold events. Join this webinar to learn from other experiences and engage in conversation with colleagues on this complex topic.
Has the pandemic paused your district’s placemaking and public events or have you been able to adjust to the new realities of physical-distancing and face-coverings? This roundtable conversation will focus on sharing new ideas and necessary innovations for pandemic-era placemaking and public events.
Each winter, the various departments within DDP work in tandem to light up Downtown Detroit – hence Detroit Aglow! The BIZ illuminates Downtown with seasonal lighting that enhances the physical characteristics of the Downtown parks and streets. The BIZ focuses on pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular gateways to make dark winter traveling brighter and safer. The DDP Parks team creates a season of programming centered around the tree lighting ceremony and the popular ice-skating rink.
In December 2018 Lilly Endowment, Inc. awarded $7.6 million to Downtown Indy, Inc. and partner, Indiana War Memorials Commission, to execute Shining a Light on Indianapolis: Bringing Arts and Culture Full Circle. The initiative was designed to collaboratively infuse arts and culture into Indianapolis through artistic video mapping, lighting and activation on the city’s premier civic plaza, Monument Circle.
The City of San Antonio partnered with The Rotary Club of San Antonio to bring an outdoor ice-skating rink to Travis Park for the 2019 holiday season to help establish the historic Travis Park as a downtown destination for visitors and locals while further promoting activation in public spaces. The City of San Antonio invited residents and visitors to celebrate the holidays at Travis Park with free, family friendly events.
The three connected public plazas in front of San Francisco’s City Hall (Civic Center Plaza, Fulton Street Mall and UN Plaza) were blighted, crime-ridden and well known as a place to avoid. Through a significant private donation two new state-of-the art playgrounds and an adjacent café were constructed in Civic Center Plaza. These new amenities were the catalyst for creating surrounding programming that supported the success of the playgrounds and laid the groundwork upgrades to come.
Campus No. 805 is an award-winning adaptive re-use project that converted a former middle school campus into a mixed-use entertainment experience with multiple local breweries, restaurants, entertainment options and a public green space. Join us as we kick-off the inaugural Place Branding & Placemaking Summit with a multi-stop reception where attendees will get to experience why “school’s out forever” and full-time fun is the new curriculum at Campus No. 805.
Closing Master Talk with Rob Robinson, Managing Principal, Urban Design Associates (Pittsburgh, PA), Anna Lowder, Co-Founder, Matter Design Co. (Montgomery, AL), Nick Lasater, Co-Owner & CEO, Rocket City Digital (Huntsville, AL), and Josh Yeager, Co-Founder, Bright Brothers Strategy Group (Philadelphia, PA).
Change is constant in our line of work, and when change continually occurs in urban places and spaces, the stories that we tell about them must hold true. But how do you change the narrative of place and what does that entail? For urban place managers, branding a district / place conjures more questions than answers: how much will it cost? How many stakeholder groups do we need to involve and who? How long will it take? What are we actually branding? What is our brand? Will this even make a difference? In this panel, practitioners will detail the process of refreshing or enhancing a brand, including insights into the somewhat complicated and contentious process of deciding when to take action, how to set budgets, who to work with and how a brand refresh impacts more than just marketing collateral – it also affects the entire built environment and visitor experience.
After years of discussion between local property owners, the City and the DCCP, a permanent stage was created. The stage is a result of a cost-sharing agreement between the City of Chandler and the DCCP. The City of Chandler’s maximum contribution was $250,000 for the project, and the DCCP’s contribution was $100,000. The DCCP’s contribution will be paid back to the City over a five-year period. The City will pay 25 percent of all stage rental fees to the DCCP for a period of 10 years.
For the Bixby Knolls BIA, the EXPO building is their festival grounds, their office, and a resource they use for activations and community programming that draw people out of their neighborhoods and into the heart of the district.
The Thelda Williams Paw-Pup Dog Park is a temporary activation in downtown Phoenix, created using a license agreement between the Downtown Phoenix Partnership and the City of Phoenix.
Jim Peters, Founder and President of the Responsible Hospitality Institute moderates a panel of urban place management organization leaders with nightlife programs and discusses the rise of the Night Mayor role for urban centers.
Downtown alleys—traditionally characterized as dirty and dark—present a unique opportunity for transforming unusual spaces into memorable public experiences. The Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) pursued a broad placemaking program to activate underutilized public spaces (such as alleys). Termed “ACTIVATE,” the initiative transforms iconic Loop alleys into pop-up urban experiences. The events feature art, music, and more in unique urban settings.
Learn from leading experts in urban park management and improvement projects across the United States. The session will help build your value proposition for enhancing and investing in high-quality public spaces and green space, and in turn building value for the property surrounding your urban parks.
Great streets are the hallmark of successful cities. In cities that lack underground rail, surface street buses are the lifeblood of downtown mobility, and one or two streets can act as dedicated busways. In addition to carrying people to and through downtown, these transit streets are also important pedestrian corridors. Learn how Denver, Minneapolis, and Seattle are reinventing the way they do transit and manage their transit streets.
As cities continue to grapple with storefront vacancies, short-term retail concepts are becoming essential to re-establishing the density of commercial districts and creating new, affordable business opportunities for local entrepreneurs. Find out how cities are supporting pop-up retail and dining by lowering barriers to entry for small businesses through regulatory incentives and comprehensive pop-up retail programs, with examples from California and Tennessee.