Placemaking in your downtown doesn’t need a strategic plan

You don’t need permission to do most placemaking ideas in your downtown. You don’t even need a lot of money (under $100.) 

Somehow, we’ve relied upon some group, organization, nonprofit or the city to put together a strategic plan to make our downtowns look better. And these plans take years to put together. Driven by committee, oversight and folks who relish the power they think they have makes creating this kind of gigantic plan a huge hairy deal. 

I’ve collected stories from small towns all over the world who are using cheap ideas to brighten up a sad space, to create some excitement downtown and for those involved to have some fun doing it. 

Crack Art

Crack art is one of my favorite things to look for in a town. Someone finds a crack in the sidewalk or a building, and creates art around it. Colfax, Washington made a clown. 

They also spruced up their pipes. So dang cute!

Our thanks to Sarah McKnight for sharing these pictures.

Living Room in an Empty Lot

The Center for Rural Affairs had a project where they placed furniture in an empty lot. And invited folks to come and visit. What a great idea! You could have Mondays with the Mayor, or any regularly scheduled tiny event. Or don’t schedule it, just show up! See who joins you. We know community happens when people talk to each other. 

Hide an empty lot

Cosmos, MN put up a fence, painted it and added decorations and added flowers. Cosmos is a fun place to visit. Take a look at all the street names: Astro Boulevard, Venus Street, and Milky Way Street are just a few of them. On the bottom of their water town is a galactic painting. Becky and I were there during their Space Week once. What a hoot! (picture taken by Becky McCray) 

Want more cheap placemaking ideas for you downtown? Visit Cheap Placemaking Ideas and order your $9 video today! 

Leave a Reply