Sustaining Creative Placemaking 12.18.14


Creative placement is defined by Artscape as: “an evolving field of practice that intentionally leverages the power of the arts, culture and creativity to serve a community’s interest while driving a broader agenda for change, growth and transformation in a way that also builds character and quality of place.”  Read more of their article Approaches to Creative Placemaking here:

While reading a recent article about the short span of a public art project in Milwaukee, WI, I remembered how excited I was when I initially heard about the plan.  As I enjoyed this unique revamping of unused space, I had a few questions, “How long will this last?” and “What else will be done to further this project?”  I then remembered hearing an artist/ designer speak about his idea of creating a bike trail out of used tires that would ultimately connect one side of Milwaukee to another, thus aiming to dynamically connect Milwaukee communities.  Although I am unsure if this plan is underway, or if it has come to a halt, the creative thought and usefulness of these initiatives are clear and obviously backed with solid goals for Milwaukee communities. 

Creative placemaking holds an enormous importance within all of our communities, yet many times lack visibility and/or funding.  One of the questions that I’m sure is asked during the development of a creative placemaking project is, “What will be done to sustain it?”  Simply having a long-term goal does not necessarily suggest definite longevity.


  adjective \sə-ˈstā-nə-bəl\

: able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed

: involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources

: able to last or continue for a long time

In some cases, there are proposals that offer language on what is intended to be accomplished, yet lacks assurance of sustainability.  We do not want these highly necessary and greatly desired projects to be created and deemed successful only up until the time they burn out.  Creative placemaking and sustainability act as a cohesive pairing to develop and implement these projects, in hopes of furthering longevity…In hopes of keeping them alive.