A space is a void. Nothing happens there. We pass it by without much thought. A place is a destination. We want to go there. We want to be there. Placemaking is about transforming ugly and underutilized spaces in our communities into vibrant, attractive, inviting, and memorable places.
Space2Place is a creative placemaking micro-grant competition open to residents of Yellowstone County. Big Sky Economic Development introduced this program in 2018 to promote smaller, incremental improvements to make the public spaces of our communities more beautiful, more engaging, more interesting, and more enjoyable.Placemaking is the practice of creating or enhancing a community’s assets to improve its overall attractiveness and livability. The four fundamental elements of placemaking are:
- Access & Linkages – Easy to get to
- Comfort & Image – Easy to be there
- Uses & Activities – Fun to be there
- Sociability – Easy to interact
Placemaking is more than just public art. It is creating welcoming and engaging places where people want to gather and connect – even to linger. It is about enhancing the walkability of our commercial areas, our neighborhoods, and our community in general. Placemaking can be large-scale like the development of a city park or streetscape, or it can be as small as a flower bed or a well-placed chair.
We have intentionally kept this application process simple and easy. There is no need to overcomplicate it. Simply think of a project that you or your group would like to create; provide renderings, images, diagrams, or photos of what it will look like; and explain what and where it will be, who will help you, what other resources you will use, and how it will activate and benefit the community.
If you have any questions about placemaking or need some ideas for a project, Google (or any other search engine) is an awesome tool. YouTube is also a valuable resource.