Placemaking Grants

What is Placemaking?

Placemaking is a people-centered approach to the planning, design, and management of public spaces. A space becomes a place when there is a reason to go there.

A more global outlook defines placemaking as an opportunity for a community to come together as a team, to create revitalized spaces, enhance gathering spots, increase socialization and well-being within a neighborhood, rehabilitate downtowns, and boost the social and economic outlook of a community. The concept allows the public (including elected officials) to see what can be, and the positive effects that follow. 


Ultimately, placemaking can encourage growth, decrease crime, entice renewed and additional commercial offerings, and increase property values. 

REALTORS® have changed empty alleys into bright, inviting places, renovated run-down playgrounds, created community gardens, developed walking/biking paths, hosted Open House tours for declining downtowns, built a Better Block for a weekend, and constructed engaging plazas on formerly vacant lots. The possibilities are numerous!

REALTORS® and Placemaking

Like peanut butter and jelly, REALTORS® and placemaking are a perfect combination. Realtors are the experts when it comes to what buyers are looking for in a strong community. They are in the field and are aware of initiatives that make a neighborhood and community a great place to live, work, and play. Additionally, a Mainsteet REALTOR® has the backing and strength of one of the largest associations in the country. Through the NAR-Mainsteet Community Outreach Grant program, Mainstreet is able to provide financial support for your creative vision for a space to come true. The staff at Mainstreet will help guide members with assistance in getting the ball rolling, working with municipalities, finding partners, answering questions, and keeping the project moving along to completion.

REALTOR® led projects and initiatives have had a profound effect not only on the communities where they have made a difference, but on the profession’s image as a whole. Associations have reported that placemaking efforts have completely changed the way the public perceives REALTORS® in their communities.

REALTORS® have participated in small projects like adding benches to a park, to partnering on large, complex developments like waterfront parks or plazas that provide food, entertainment, and a place to meet and socialize. REALTORS® have donated and created places that become destinations for people in the neighborhood as well as those that attract people from outside the area. Any way you slice it, REALTORS® and placemaking are elevating the lives and experiences of the many, while advancing the perception of the real estate profession.


Hear from your fellow Mainstreet REALTORS® about their Placemaking Grant projects

Placemaking Criteria

  • Benefits everyone in the community
  • Accessible to the entire community all or most of the day
  • At least 10 things to do; even if it’s people watching, sitting, talking with a friend, etc.
  • Incorporate community involvement
  • Incorporate REALTOR® involvement
  • Provide project updates including photos
  • REALTOR® recognition
  • Reimbursement grant – invoices and receipts to be submitted for reimbursement. Initial funding must be in place before the start of the project.
  • Funds must be spent before the end of the year the grant was awarded.
  • Projects must take place within the Mainstreet jurisdiction. Use this mapping tool to see if the location qualifies.


Placemaking Grant Examples

Examples of approved projects.

Placemaking Grant Application

Spaces to Place Blog

Get project inspiration from around the country.


Nadine Scodro

Volunteer & Advocacy Specialist