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Placemaking movement launched in Hamilton

Placemaking movement launched in Hamilton

The Project for Public Spaces says placemaking involves making temporary and relatively inexpensive alterations to a public space. These projects can, and often do, get off the ground while more long-range projects grind through the lengthy development pipeline (as seen in the widely-discussed Under the Elevated plans in NYC). LQC interventions are often temporary and informal, and they are meant to challenge more “top-down” or privatized approaches to city planning. The process has many guises around the world, such as pop-ups, guerilla urbanism, and DIY urbanism, but no matter what label these projects use, they reflect the public’s desire to reclaim the public spaces in their cities or neighborhoods.

Intersection decoration Portland Oregon. Community residents celebrate the completion of the mural | Image by City Repair Project

Now the city of Hamilton is joining the movement with the launch of  a new community funding program, the Placemaking Grant Pilot Program.

Patrick J. McNally Foundation

The program was made possible because of a $100,000 donation from the Patrick J. McNally Charitable Foundation, the Placemaking Grant Pilot Program will fund community-led placemaking projects that temporarily animate public spaces.

Placemaking is a hands-on approach for making a meaningful change or impact in a neighborhood, city or region. Placemaking interacts with the unique geography, culture, and heritage of a space and is a way for residents to feel ownership of public space and use it in a way that is specific to community need.

Projects funded through the Placemaking Grant Pilot Program are expected to start in the summer of 2021 through 2023 and will help to enliven our public spaces as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to apply

Information about the grant program including the funding guidelines which outline the eligibility requirements, the application form, and a placemaking toolkit are available on the City’s website at .

Quick Facts

•             Applications for the Placemaking Grant Pilot Program will be accepted from groups of residents and non-profit organizations.

•             Applicants can apply for funding at two levels:

o             Category 1 – Up to $2,000 per project. Projects are temporary (from a few days up to one year) and may include a physical change to the place (signage, sculpture, garden planters, etc.) or may reimagine a space through repeated action (performances, gatherings, etc.). 

o             Category 2 – $5,000 to $20,000. Projects are temporary (from a few days up to three years) and will include a physical change to the place (seating, sculpture, etc.). 

•             It is expected that the Placemaking Grant Pilot Program will award approximately 24 grants over the 2-year pilot period (approximately 20 grants in Category 1 and 2-4 grants in Category 2).

•             Applications for funding are due by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 9, 2021. Residents and community groups that miss the April 2021 deadline will have a second opportunity to apply for funding in the fall of 2021.

•             City staff will work with applicants to ensure that any project that receives funding can meet COVID 19 regulations.

•             Residents and groups who want to learn more about placemaking and the Placemaking Grant Pilot Program are encouraged to register for one of two virtual information sessions:

o             Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 1 p.m.

o             Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 7 p.m.

For more information and to register for the information sessions visit:

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