Are you interested in the Creative Placemaking Challenge?

We’re putting together a resource of examples from around the world with pictures, links, videos, and more to give people an idea of how people are transforming their communities. We’ll endeavour to keep this list growing, and if you have an example that you think should be included please let us know through our contact page.


San Francisco
San Francisco Urban Prototyping Festival

Urban Prototyping is a global series of festivals designed to explore the impact that participatory art, technology and design can have on the urban experience. Urban Prototyping: San Francisco (UP:SF) re-imagined three-blocks of downtown San Francisco with 23 interactive projects, 60 local and international performers, and 20 panelists. Over 100 artists, makers, students, activists, and entrepreneurs came together to examine the future of our cities and conceive of worthwhile, interesting and affordable ways to recreate public space – from a 10-Mile Garden to a Fruit Fence planter and modular biofilter urinals!



Chicago Placemaking Contest

The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) was thrilled to receive 25 plans for the Activate Union Station placemaking contest, which asks the question, “How can we bring Chicago’s Union Station back to life?”
See all the entrants here.


Los Angeles
Northeast LA Riverfront Design Competition

The Northeast L.A. (NELA) Placemaking Design Competition seeks to engage a diverse range of stakeholders in designing implementable projects that enhance the neighborhood identity, river revitalization, community health, and public spaces of the NELA river area and its adjacent neighborhoods. The goal of the competition is to engage NELA stakeholders to transform an idea into a well thought out, implementable plan.


Here are some other cool resources where people are using art to transform their cities:

Park and Slide Bristol
Artist Like Jerram created a 300 foot waterslide down one of this UK city’s streets. It was installed for a single day and over 96,000 entered the lottery to determine who the 360 lucky sliders would be. This is an amazing example of how art can be used to make us think differently about our cities.

Melbourne Laneways
Melbourne’s laneways are narrow enclaves where mainstream culture takes a back seat to allow for one-off boutiques, unique galleries, tiny cafés and hidden bars.


Philadelphia – The Porch at 30th Street Station
Adjacent to the second busiest train station in the country, between two magnificent historic buildings and within a short walk of over 16,000 jobs, The Porch is a key gateway to the region. Once a congested parking lane and bland, barren sidewalk, The Porch has quickly become one of the most animated public places in Philadelphia, with amenities such as abundant seating, vibrant seasonal plantings, ongoing performances, fitness classes and a variety of special events such as The Porch Beer Garden and mini-golf.


Portland – City Repair
City Repair was formed in Portland, Oregon in 1996 by citizen activists who wanted a more community-oriented and ecologically sustainable society. Born out of a successful grassroots neighborhood initiative that converted a residential street intersection into a neighborhood public square.


Austin – 20ft Wide

A case study in transforming a downtown alley into a vibrant public open space—the activation includes a mix of installations and multi-generational happenings connecting us with the dynamic past, present and future roles of Austin’s urban alley system. 20ft Wide derives its name from the 20 feet that serve as the standard width for Austin’s downtown alleys as noted on the 1839 city map by Edwin Waller.


Seattle – Alley Network Project
ALLEY NETWORK PROJECT draws on the energy and ideas of neighbors, businesses, colleagues and community groups to transform Pioneer Square’s alleys into one of its unrivaled assets. Alleys offer the opportunity for Pioneer Square to boost healthy activity on its streets, feed its vibrant arts culture, and draw people to local businesses.

Alleypalooza 2013 on Flickr

Photo: Alliance for Pioneer Square
Photo: Alliance for Pioneer Square


Vancouver – Laneways of Vancouver
Discussing the potential for laneway (re)activation in Vancouver, BC and beyond.


New York City – Museum in Cortlandt Alley
A 60 square foot space open 24/7 through a window