Project for Public Spaces (PPS) and the National Main Street Center, Inc. (NMSC) are launching Cultivating Place in Main Street Communities, a series of intensive trainings designed to strengthen and expand Main Street’s capacity for implementing placemaking strategies and public space improvements.
Between January and June 2016, NMSC and PPS will bring the Cultivating Place in Main Street Communities training program to five pilot states, including Alabama, Connecticut, Missouri, Montana, and Oregon. PPS and NMSC will partner with Main Street Alabama, Connecticut Main Street Center, Missouri Main Street Connection, Montana Main Street, and Oregon Main Street to convene 35 communities in each state.
Additionally, local and regional representatives of federal agencies and philanthropic foundations will be in attendance, working with trainers and trainees to identify ways to successfully grow, implement, and sustain placemaking efforts in these states after the training.
“As a citizen-led process, Placemaking is a powerful, affordable, and effective way to activate downtowns and community gathering places,” says Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center, Inc. “The community engagement and momentum generated by Placemaking is essential in generating longer-term positive economic outcomes across America’s Main Streets.”
“The community is always the expert,” says Fred Kent, President and Founder of Project for Public Spaces. “These trainings offer simple ways to take better advantage of the talents, resources, and assets that already exist in these places.”
Cultivating Place in Main Street Communities is the latest program launched as a result of NMSC and PPS’s ongoing partnership, created to help Main Street communities activate their downtowns and districts through placemaking. Placemaking provides a powerful set of tools for change that Main Street organizations can easily learn and apply to their revitalization work. Through a strategy called “Lighter Quicker Cheaper,” individuals and communities can make immediate and affordable changes to public spaces while also building local support and demonstrating to stakeholders the potential for further long-term projects and investments.
The “Cultivating Place in Main Street Communities” training program is made possible through the generous support of Anne T. and Robert M. Bass.