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Creative Placemaking's Role in Enhancing Community Safety
Creative placemaking seeks to incorporate arts and culture into social, physical, and economic community projects. “This work, while often incorporating traditional arts-related efforts like murals, music, sculpture, and dance, encompasses creative work more generally, such as promoting entrepreneurism, creatively engaging stakeholders and residents, and using space in novel ways,” says the Urban Institute.
Through a series of case studies, the Urban Institute looked at the relationship between creative placemaking and community safety. These projects include the Beerline Trail Extension in Milwaukee, the Eden Night Live community festival in Alameda County, California, the Marcus Garvey Youth Clubhouse in Brooklyn, and the People’s Paper Co-Op, a program in Philadelphia providing reentry services to formerly incarcerated individuals.
The case studies found that creative placemaking helps to engage underutilized spaces and transform the boundaries of places into sites of interaction. This interaction in turn fosters trust and empathy and encourages community safety. An Urban Institute report synthesizes the findings of these case studies and as well as outlining implementation challenges and lessons.