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T4America selected to lead national examination of creative placemaking in transportation

We’re proud to announce that Transportation for America has been commissioned by ArtPlace America to undertake a rigorous national examination of creative placemaking in transportation to better understand how and where artists, designers, and cultural workers are collaborating with local governments and community partners to solve transportation challenges.

Flickr photo by John Henderson. View on Flickr

T4America was chosen to lead ArtPlace America’s transportation field scan research and subsequent working group convening because of our “strong institutional commitment to creative placemaking, comprehensive knowledge of the transportation sector and recent commitment to the creation of an arts & culture program with Ben Stone at the helm,” according to Jamie Hand, ArtPlace’s Director of Research Strategies.

ArtPlace America is a ten-year collaboration among a number of foundations, federal agencies, and financial institutions that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities.

For several years T4America has been committed to helping communities across the country better integrate arts, culture and creative placemaking into neighborhood revitalization, equitable development and transportation planning efforts. Creative placemaking in particular is one approach to planning and building transportation projects that taps local arts and culture to produce better projects through a better process.

While best known for grantmaking through their National Creative Placemaking Fund, ArtPlace also runs a research program through which they dive deep into the intersections between arts and cultural practice and various community development sectors like health, housing, public safety, agriculture and food, economic development, education and youth, environment and energy, immigration, and workforce development. A “field scan” is the first step in each sector-specific inquiry.

What goes into a field scan?

Through in-depth interviews and research on relevant projects and literature, Ben Stone and Mallory Nezam, T4A’s arts & culture team, will produce the field scan this spring to help educate the transportation sector on the opportunities presented by working with artists, designers, and cultural workers. This will give us a chance to drill down and better learn how (and where) artists, designers, and cultural workers are collaborating with local governments and other community partners to solve transportation challenges.

Our work with ArtPlace will culminate in July 2017 with a convening of a working group comprised of transportation and arts professionals who will provide feedback on the field scan and make recommendations for future research that demonstrates the value of creative placemaking strategies within the transportation sector.

The field scan will build on our Scenic Route resource, in which we aimed to explain an emerging topic (creative placemaking) to potentially skeptical planners & municipal local officials through case studies, identification of approaches to creative placemaking, and other resources.

In all of this work, we’re aiming to make a tangible case that the arts have a positive, measurable impact on transportation projects, and to inspire transportation professionals to take on this new approach.

With our experience producing a primer on creative placemaking, our history of managing creative placemaking projects across the country, and with both transportation and arts experts on staff, no one is better positioned in the transportation sector to integrate transportation practitioners into the creative placemaking dialogue.

Additionally, T4A has been providing subgrants and technical assistance to directly integrate arts and culture into transportation projects in San Diego, CA, Nashville, TN, and Portland, OR, with support from the Kresge Foundation.

Interested in learning more about how we might be help your community integrate arts and culture into transportation projects? We’d love to discuss the possibilities with you — get in touch with us.

1 Comment

  1. Janice Hill

    7 years ago

    I would like to start a conversation about the creative placemaking process in Aurora, Illinois the 2nd largest city in Illinois in the county of Kane. I am a Kane County Planner and also personally invested in a creative placemaking project involving redevelopment of two museums at a regional airport site. We have applied for the Art Place America grant and appreciate your insights and guidance. Especially curious if you’ve had many airport related projects.