NAR’s Placemaking Resources to the Rescue

This is another update of a re-post which will introduce you to the resources NAR provides to REALTOR® associations to help them become engaged in placemaking projects in their communities.

The first several posts introduced you to this thing called Placemaking which hopefully piqued your interest.   You may have looked around your neighborhood and thought about a space or two that would be an ideal spot to transform from an “eyesore” or underused open space into a new, vibrant public space for the community to gather and enjoy.

If so, NAR is here to help you.    Recognizing the value of Placemaking to the real estate community, we created several resources to help our state and local REALTOR® associations, and their members, become engaged in Placemaking in their communities.

NAR's Placemaking Guide

First up is our Placemaking Guide.  The Guide gives you an overview of Placemaking and details of the various types of Placemaking activities such as Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper and Creative Placemaking.   It provides guidance on how to get started and how to ensure your project will be a success.

The Guide includes examples of Placemaking across the country including those where REALTORS® participated.  And, if you want to explore Placemaking in more detail, the Guide gives you a listing of additional resources.

San Francisco’s Pavement to Parks. Credit: City of San Francisco.

San Francisco’s Pavement to Parks. Credit: City of San Francisco.

To get even more ideas on a regular basis, you can check out the Spaces to Places blog which describes placemaking projects around the country including ones where REALTOR® Associations were engaged.

Realtors working

We also developed a series of webinars, all of which have been recorded, to explore Placemaking topics in more detail and to talk to experts in the field.

Our first webinar was on something called Lighter, Quicker Cheaper which involves taking small, incremental, low cost steps to quickly turn your community’s vision into reality and build momentum for further improvements.   These projects could include community gardens, “parklets”, or dog parks.   These are the type of projects our placemaking grant will fund.

This was followed by webinars on Better Block and Main Street two different approaches to the revitalization of downtowns or commercial corridors.  These are the types of projects our Smart Growth grant will fund.

Parklet at Better Block Norfolk.

Parklet at Better Block Norfolk.

None of these projects can be done without resources and NAR has two grants to help our REALTOR® Associations with Placemaking projects.

The Placemaking Grant is targeted at creating new Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper projects which cost under $200,000 and can be built within a year.  These include parks/pocket parks, trails, gardens,  plazas, alley activations and parklets.  Funding is available for up to $5,000 via an easy online application process.


The Smart Growth Grant is to be used to help address land use and transportation policies which could include a community’s revitalization efforts.  The grant funds planning, analysis, projects and community input for larger-scale projects like charrettes, feasibility studies, place visioning,  and community development strategies.   Funding is available up to $15,000.


And finally we provide technical assistance for those who may have a question or need more direction on a project they are thinking about.  Just give staff a call.

So what are you waiting for?   The time is right for you to start turning things around in your community and NAR is here to help.