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A Playbook for Creative Placemaking

Creative placemaking is an emerging field that harnesses the power of the arts to create more vibrant and livable communities.

Artists, musicians, and other creative people have known for a long time that where they work has a big effect on their work.

Our moods, creativity, and even how we get along with others can be affected by the places we live in.

That's why so many artists are drawn to cities like New York and Los Angeles; they offer energy and inspiration that can be hard to find elsewhere.

But what if you don't live in a big city? Or what if you're looking for something different from the hustle and bustle of urban life? Creative placemaking might be just what you need.

In this blog post, we will explore these principles and offer a playbook for putting them into action. Whether you're an artist looking to get involved in your community or a city planner interested in using the arts to shape the built environment, this post is for you!

The Role of Art in Creative Placemaking

Creative placemaking recognizes the power of art and culture to bring about positive change in our cities. From murals on the street to public installations, art can bring life to spaces, bring people together, and bring communities together in meaningful ways. The range of possibilities is vast, from transforming vacant lots into cultural hubs to creating pathways for social dialogue and advocacy through art.

And it's not just about aesthetics—creative placemaking initiatives have also been shown to improve local economies, increase civic pride, reduce crime rates, and even reshape community identity.

The Process of Creative Placemaking

Identifying a community's needs and resources:

The first step in any creative placemaking project is to figure out what a community needs and what it has to offer.

This helps you understand what already exists so that you can target areas for improvement or growth.

You must also consider the potential for collaboration among stakeholders, including local businesses, civic leaders, and residents, and any existing partnerships that could be leveraged.

Developing a vision:

Once the needs and resources have been identified, it's time to develop a shared vision for how they can be used to create vibrant places where people want to live, work, and play.

The goal is not just to make something look good, but also to bring people together, create economic opportunities, and put everyone's needs first.

Engaging stakeholders:

To make a creative placemaking project work, people, groups, and institutions at all levels need to be involved. It's important to make sure that everyone has a chance to take part in the process through conversation and hands-on work so that their ideas are heard and incorporated into the design.

Implementing the plan:

Once you have identified a shared vision for the project and gathered feedback from stakeholders, it's time to put it into action! This means finding the right funding sources, getting any necessary permits or approvals, and carrying out your plans with an eye toward making them last and grow.

Evaluating the impact:

The last step is to figure out how well your creative placemaking efforts have worked. This helps you determine what worked, what didn't, and how to adjust or improve in the future. It also lets you share your project's successes with other communities and groups that might want to do the same thing.

By following these steps, cities can create vibrant spaces where people want to live, work, and play, all through the power of art and culture!

5 Steps of Creative Placemaking Infographic

          Five Steps of Creative Placemaking, by RevArt

The Benefits of Creative Placemaking

Strengthening community cohesion and identity:

Creative placemaking can help bring people together and build a sense of shared identity within a community.

Through public art, performances, and festivals, the arts can give people a place to talk, help them understand each other, and encourage them to care about each other.

Improving the quality of life:

Its programs have been shown to improve people's physical health, mental health, and overall quality of life by making cities easier to walk around in and giving people more chances to meet and talk to each other.

Revitalizing local economies:

The arts can be used to bring people to an area, which helps local businesses and entrepreneurs make money. Creative placemaking projects generate jobs, stimulate investment, and attract new residents.

Celebrating diversity:

The arts can be a big part of preserving and celebrating a community's cultural history while also bringing people together and helping them understand each other. Creative placemaking projects can help bring together people from different identities and backgrounds by focusing on what makes each person special.

Potential Challenges with Creative Placemaking Projects

Resistance from communities:

Developing a creative placemaking project can be challenging, as some community members might want to stay the same or feel their voices need to be heard. As a result, efforts must be made to make sure that everyone's point of view is taken into account when decisions are made.

Insufficient funding:

Funding can also be hard, especially for projects in low-income areas or ones that want to grow existing programs. Creative strategies, such as crowdfunded campaigns and partnerships with local businesses, may help bridge any financial gaps. 

Lack of data:

It can be difficult to measure the impact of placemaking projects due to a lack of data on the well-being and economic impacts they have on communities. This makes it harder to make a case for their value and can limit access to funding.

Despite these challenges, creative placemaking is a powerful tool that can bring about real and lasting change in cities worldwide. 

Engaging stakeholders, implementing plans, evaluating impact, and celebrating diversity can help create vibrant spaces where people want to live, work, and play.  

Creative placemaking is the answer for places that want to improve their quality of life and bring their local economies back to life.

colorful town roofs

    Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels


Art has the power to shape our communities and how we interact with the world around us.

For creative placemaking to work, all parts of the community must be involved in the planning, implementation, and evaluation stages. 

RevArt is committed to supporting creative placemaking initiatives through our technology platform that connects artists with businesses and art enthusiasts. 

Whether you’re looking for unique wall art, sculptures, or other creative pieces, RevArt has something for everyone. Browse our collection today and start supporting local artists!