This morning, Southwest Airlines announced that non-profit organizations in six U.S. cities will receive Placemaking grants to help them reimagine and reactivate important but underutilized public spaces in their city.
Through their groundbreaking Heart of the Community program, established in 2014 in partnership with PPS, Southwest has become a pioneer in the Placemaking movement. After three successful pilot projects in Detroit, Providence, and San Antonio in 2013, the program has since supported Placemaking initiatives in Chicago, Houston, Baltimore, and San Diego. Today, on the heels of this announcement and in celebration of Earth Day, kick-off celebrations are being held on both coasts–in Baltimore’s newly transformed Pratt and Light Plaza as well as in the Plaza de Panama in San Diego’s Balboa Park!
Selected through a competitive application process, here are the six Heart of the Community grant recipients for 2015:
- Albuquerque, New Mexico: Civic Plaza
- Ft. Myers, Florida: Lee County Regional Library
- Jacksonville, Florida: Hemming Park
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 4th & Wisconsin Area
- Portland, Maine: Congress Square Park
- St. Louis, Missouri: Strauss Park
In bringing the transformative power of Placemaking to cities across the United States, Southwest Airlines is also helping to raise awareness of Placemaking as an important social cause and a catalyst for building sustainable, healthy, inclusive, and economically viable communities.
The movement is in full swing, and we can’t wait to see how these places and communities transform in the coming year!