We all have spots like this in our neighborhood: It’s a spot that’s been through a lot (no pun intended). It’s down on its luck. Doesn’t have many friends. Plastic bags, overgrown lawn, dirt patches … or maybe it’s a frumpy strip of retail without much allure. Either way, it could use a little love. And, this summer, you can do something about it!


The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) challenged Chicago-area individuals and community groups to teach an Old Place New Tricks by activating a public space for one day in August. If you are among the 18 awesome groups that took our free “Placemaking 101” training and decided to take the plunge, congrats! This site is here to share your successes and promote your events. Remember, stick with simple and inexpensive ideas – or better yet, free! Develop a one-day program to enliven your space, and tap your neighbors, friends – even a stranger you’ve been meaning to get to know – to lend a hand to help. And don’t forget the 11 Principles of Placemaking. If you live in one of these awesome neighborhoods, or anywhere in Chicagoland, plan to come out Aug. 15, 16 and 17 to support these awesome Placemakers!

Why Placemaking?

Because we believe people have the power to transform their neighborhoods, one space at a time. Win Prizes! For a chance to win one of three $1,000 prizes, generously sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, or the $1,000 Groupon Love Local award, all you have to do is tell us your Placemaking story—and we’ll make that easy for you, too: Thanks to our partner EveryBlock, you have your own web page on this site to promote your Placemaking activity leading up to Aug. 15. EveryBlock and MPC will help share your awesome Placemaking story far and wide to help with turnout and to promote the great work you’re doing in your neighborhood. The public will vote, and our esteemed Placemaking judges will pick the two winners. We’ll all celebrate at a fun and inspiring event on Sept. 25!