COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space

How Can Realtors be Key Partners in Placemaking?

Ethan Kent
Jan 23, 2011
Dec 14, 2017

We always say that it takes a broader set of skills than any one discipline can offer to create a place. It is increasingly clear to us that Realtors can make natural Placemakers. And now the National Association of Realtors is taking a leadership role in the movement through the devotion of their entire winter issue of On Common Ground to Placemaking and Economic Development.

Realtors know that when you create a place, you create social, civic and economic value

Realtors are often among a community's most engaged and concerned citizens. They can quickly see how a Placemaking approach can generate local commitment and investment, short-term, low-cost improvements and long-term sustainability and resilience.

Realtors are often the pioneers to move into and help improve new walkable neighborhoods and downtowns. For our current project in St. Paul Square historic district of San Antonio, it is several Realtors that are taking a leadership role in a local Placemaking effort.

Realtors make good facilitators and social connectors- not only do they understand planning and design, but they're also passionate about their communities and have the communication skills and initiative that can catalyze Placemaking.

This role as neighborhood public realm improvement leaders is mutually beneficial- it helps sustain the investment, interest and social capital that allows them to be more effective in their day jobs.

National Association of Realtors (NAR) Calls Placemaking a Leading Economic Development Strategy

The issue's main article, "Placemaking: A Community's Appeal Drives its Economic Prosperity" features PPS projects including Campus Martius and Placemaking Chicago and draws heavily on PPS' 2010 Report: "Putting Our Jobs Back in Place".

The third article in the magazine also covered our long running approach of using public markets as catalysts for public spaces and local economies.

The issue also highlighted some of our partners innovating around the practice of Placemaking, including:

Placemaking can create a more desirable community

NAR asks, "'is a city appealing because it's prosperous or is it prosperous because it’s appealing?' That may sound like a chicken-or-egg question, but in this case, there’s a right answer — or at least  a growing awareness that creating vibrant public spaces is a winning economic strategy."

NAR quotes from our report “Putting Our Jobs Back in Place,” arguing that Placemaking is the best way to generate lasting prosperity at a time when technology gives people and companies greater freedom to work and do business wherever they please.

Placemaking Resources for Realtors:

How Can Realtors lead change in communities?

With 1.3 million Realtors as Members in NAR, we look forward to their evolving role, and the increasing impact, as linchpins to the ongoing success of communities.

How are Realtors supporting Placemaking in your neighborhood?

How can the National Association of Realtors continue to support Placemaking?

Ethan Kent
Ethan Kent
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