Community-Led Placemaking Program
Open Call for Ideas
Now, more than ever, people need a sense of togetherness and community. Welcoming public spaces that support the businesses around them are essential to our communities and inviting everyone to participate in shaping those spaces can create a sense of belonging. Develop Nova Scotia wants to support you in co-creating a placemaking project with your community. These projects include lighter, quicker, cheaper place interventions (like infrastructure, art, seating and amenities) that contribute to the magnetism of a place and create opportunities to bring people together. Beyond beautification, projects will ideally create a public space that sees programming, activations and ongoing community engagement.
The Community-Led Placemaking Program will enable successful applicants to transform underperforming public spaces or co-create new ones. Develop Nova Scotia will facilitate direct funding to the community, as well as provide technical assistance and capacity building support through the April – October 2022 timeline.
Placemaking is a collaborative process where we can shape our public realm to maximize shared value – strengthening the connection between people and the places they share.
To undertake lighter, quicker, cheaper tactical placemaking projects that:
- Support economic recovery in main streets, squares and downtowns to help support local businesses
- Create places for people to gather and connect socially
- Create opportunities for inclusive community involvement
- Invite increased visitation to the community core
Who Can Apply?
Local Governments / Registered Non-Profit Organizations / Business Improvement Districts / First Nation Bands / Municipalities / Chambers / Groups sponsored by one of the above organizations.
A $50,000 grant will be provided to each selected project group, to be spent between April and October 2022. Funding will be directed toward engagement, implementation, programming, and modifications as outlined in the Community-Led Placemaking Process below.
Community-Led Placemaking Process
Successful submissions will be supported to participate in a community-led placemaking process as outlined below.
Form a Team: Although these projects are community-led in their execution and ongoing life, it is important to have a consistent and committed implementation team to oversee the project. Having team members from a variety of backgrounds and experiences will help spark ideas and reach a broader community audience. While we expect and encourage teams to expand over the course of the project timeline, giving thought to who will form the core implementation team is important to the project’s success.
Pick a Location: The location for the project must be in a centralized area of your community in close vicinity to local businesses. This includes main streets, squares, and downtowns. The chosen area must have approval for use by the landowner and must be accessible by members of the public.
Make a Plan: Once chosen, successful projects will be supported in meaningfully engaging their community as a critical step in building upon the initial vision for the space and finalizing a placemaking plan. A key part of the plan will be the development of a budget that includes allocations for community outreach, promotion, materials for installation, programming, and modifications/adaptations over time.
Build/Implement: This stage of the placemaking process involves sourcing, purchasing, building, and installing the pieces (such as infrastructure, art, seating, and amenities) that will bring your space to life and make it a welcoming place for your community. Project teams will be supported in finding ways to include community members in fun and creative ways in this stage of the project.
Program/Activate/Promote: An important step in inviting people to use the new place you have created is to provide fun and unique things for them to do and experience. This may look like hosting events, providing play equipment, inviting entertainers to the space, or welcoming community groups to use the space.
Evaluate/Learn: The placemaking process involves reflecting on aspects of both the process and the product. The implementation team should consider what went well and what could have been improved upon, and they should find creative and meaningful ways to seek the community’s perspective. Some evaluation techniques might include pedestrian counters, surveys, photo documentation, and personal testimonials.
Throughout the placemaking process the implementation team should be seeking new ways of meaningfully involving a broad spectrum of community members and adapting the place based on ongoing feedback from the community. The process is cyclical in that a place should never be kept stagnant but should be activated and re-envisioned on a regular basis, constantly seeking to include new voices in the vision and use of the place. Once a community sees success in one location, it can expand to re-imagine other locations.
For more ideas and resources to help you and your team, visit: https://buildns.ca/placemaking-resources/
Submission Process and Evaluation Criteria
This is a flexible application process that invites groups to submit in a format of your choosing; photos, video and written submissions are welcome. Please be sure to include full contact details for the organization submitting as well as a key contact person (phone + email). As these will form the basis of our evaluation, your submission should fully describe the placemaking location and early vision for the space. It is important to ensure that these line up with the program objectives, including:
- Economic Recovery and Increased Visitation to Community Core: Will the project attract people to visit the community core and support increased pedestrian traffic in close vicinity to local businesses?
- Social Gathering: Will the project provide a welcoming place for community members and visitors to safely gather and socialize?
- Community Participation: Will the project encourage inclusive participation in project planning, implementation, and programming of the space? Will the project support diverse participation once the space is up and running?
- Partnerships: Does this project have the potential to foster collaboration among diverse groups within the community? Has the municipality indicated their support for the project? Is a representative from the municipality willing to join the implementation team?
- Differentiation: How will this project help the community stand out? How will it play to the assets of your community? Will it highlight what makes your community special/unique?
- Community capacity: Does the community have the resources and capacity to complete the project in the proposed timeline (April – October 2022)? Has thought been given to ongoing adaptation and use of the space? Will it be easy and affordable to maintain post-2022?
For any questions, support, and to submit your proposal, email email@example.com
Submission Deadline: March 11, 2022 at 4:00PM AST