Creative Placemaking

Creative Placemaking: Creative placemaking is the intentional use of arts and culture to shape the physical, social and economic future of communities.

Current Projects

The DC Office of Planning (DCOP) has received a grant from the Kresge Foundation to undertake creative placemaking and civic engagement activities in select neighborhoods throughout the District. OP’s grant, “Crossing the Street: Building DC’s Inclusive Future through Creative Placemaking” is designed to promote community-building in neighborhoods that are experiencing rapid demographic and social change; to engage residents in conversations on the future of the District as OP embarks on an update of DC’s Comprehensive Plan; and to demonstrate or test select placemaking recommendations articulated in OP’s neighborhood plans and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) transit corridor studies and livability studies.

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Creative Placemaking uses public spaces in ways that improve quality of life and community awareness through dynamic interventions. It leverages the power of the arts and culture to serve a community’s interests while contributing to broader social efforts to promote public transformation and build quality of place.


Through arts-driven engagements, communities are able to offer messages. These activations allow an opportunity to address issues of social justice and economic equity while increasing awareness for health, safety and security. Neighborhoods develop new opportunities for communal gathering and create a sense of common identity and shared culture. These projects encourage recreation and relaxation, introduce energy and vibrancy to streets, and contribute to environmental improvements.


The success of creative placemaking is dependent upon open collaborations between artists, residents, citizen groups, governments, private investors, and non-profit organizations.


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