Parking spots or People Spots? Blank walls or murals? Car traffic or foot traffic? As cities continue to grow, these questions push the creative and effective utilization of public spaces to the forefront. In response, government agencies, business associations and community groups across the country have embraced creative placemaking as a tool to mobilize communities and develop local economies.
Placemaking exists both in practice and philosophy, making it difficult to communicate an agreed upon definition and implementation strategy. According to Peter Skosey, executive vice president at Metropolitan Planning Council, “It’s easy to see the block party, but it’s not easy to see the foundations of a more participatory community being laid.” Continue Reading
Have you heard of placemaking? Well, even if you haven’t, you may have seen the results of placemaking projects in your neighborhood. Placemaking is a grassroots movement to transform unused public areas into vibrant community spaces through lively events, art installations, gathering spots, and more. So a colorful wall mural, cafe chairs in a park, or a community BBQ could all be considered placemaking!
As part of our commitment to local communities, Groupon is partnering with the Metropolitan Planning Council in Chicago for their 2014 placemaking challenge “Old Place New Tricks.” Groupon is currently running 19 unique Groupon Grassroots campaigns for participants in the 2014 challenge, allowing Groupon subscribers to donate to projects that range from transforming a vacant lot into Austin’s first “peace lot”, a permanent conflict-resolution space, to a bicycle-awareness event where residents can donate and purchase refurbished bikes and learn about bike safety.
Groupon employees are getting in on the fun by transforming a vacant lot near Groupon’s River North headquarters into an art installation featuring portraits of community members. Volunteers are also constructing community ideas chalkboards that will be donated to every placemaking site.
All events in the 2014 placemaking challenge are occurring during the weekend of August 15th throughout the Chicagoland area, bringing many Chicago communities together as they activate an unused space in their neighborhood. Participants are also eligible to win prizes of $1000 for their placemaking event, including the “Love Local” award sponsored by Groupon.
To learn more about placemaking visit the Metropolitan Planning Council’s website. Follow along on Saturday with #BeautifyChi to see our progress!