Ambitious Proposal Would Make Chicago River the City’s New Backyard

A mixed-use development on a vacant lot and a new pedestrian bridge create a neighborhood destination and transit hub at 31st and Ashland near Bubbly Creek (Credit: Ross Barney Architects)
Chicago’s lakefront is a triumph of city planning — the preservation of the city’s chief physical asset for use by the public instead of by factories and wealthy, private homes. It’s the city’s front yard. Until recently, the Chicago River has not received the same loving attention. But in the past 20 years, that perception has changed dramatically, with a series of improvements through public and private development. Read more... Read more

Growing Value through Creative Placemaking

A view of Monroe Street Market from the Metro station in Washington, DC (Credit: The Bozzuto Group)
Creative placemaking, led by arts and cultural considerations, helps shape not only the physical character of a place, but also its social character. Creative placemaking, done well, can deliver high value to its stakeholders, including the community, developers, and public and private partners, as evident in three very different real estate developments: a transit-oriented, mixed-use development project in Washington, D.C.; the redevelopment of a blighted building in San Francisco; and a neighborhood revitalization effort in Macon, Georgia. Read more... Read more

Popular BART Art Installation Promotes Love Your Block Mini-Grant Program

love your block
The interactive BART Art Installation at Richmond Station — essentially a giant chalkboard — is always filled to the brim with messages from community members. The exhibit asking passersby to jot down how they would use $2,000 to improve their community, and also what they want to accomplish before they die, has attracted hundreds of responses since it went up late last month. The BART Art Installation operates as a promotion for the “Love Your Block” mini-grant program, which challenges... Read more

Denver Arts Scene Packs an Economic Punch

The Buell Theater in Denver (Credit: Jeffrey Beall / Flickr)
The next time someone asks how you’re going to make a living in the arts, you can point them to Colorado, where Denver is banking on the arts just fine. According to a recent study, Denver metro arts, cultural and scientific organizations generated $1.8 billion in economic activity in 2015, $512.8 million of which represented new money injected into Denver’s economy. The total includes $894 million in audience spending, $860 million in operating expenditures and $55 million in capital expenditures.... Read more

APA Recognizes the 2016 Great Places in America Designees

Guthrie Green in Tulsa, Oklahoma is a winner for Great Public Spaces (Credit: Creating Branches)
The American Planning Association (APA) announced the country’s 15 Great Places for 2016 through the organization’s national flagship program, Great Places in America, which marks the kick-off of APA’s National Community Planning Month celebration. As part of National Community Planning Month, Great Places in America recognizes unique and exemplary streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces — three essential components of all communities. Read more... Read more
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