Community Progress Blog

‘Inside Out’ project shines light on Edison neighborhood and residents

Written by on October 24, 2017

  Information provided by Kelly Clarke, Executive Director, Kalamazoo County Land Bank What is Inside Out, and how did it come to Kalamazoo? Inside Out is a global participatory art project organized by JR, a winner of the 2011 Ted Prize at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. Inspired by JR’s large‐format street “pastings,”…


From a shipping container to a solar-powered greenhouse: Arts meets agriculture in Detroit

Written by on September 15, 2017

In Detroit, a recycled shipping container will soon become a community beacon for fresh food, job creation, and arts and culture. Part agricultural, part placemaking, the Liberty Harvest project officially launched in July 2017. It is an initiative spearheaded by Resurge Detroit, a nonprofit with a mission to “tackle blight in the city of Detroit…


From Randyland to grand new plans: Albany and Flint residents learn from Pittsburgh successes

Written by on September 5, 2017

What can dinosaurs teach us about vacant land? Probably not very much. Dinosaurs are long extinct. Even plastic dino-toys – though ironic – have very little to offer us relative to vacancy or community health. I am surprised one would really even ponder this question. But do you know who can share some important insights…


Bridging policy and placemaking to activate vacant properties in the Twin Cities

Written by on August 7, 2017

Placemaking–and creative placemaking–has received a lot of attention over the past few years in community development circles—but what is it? And how does it relate to vacant and abandoned spaces? The Project for Public Spaces defines placemaking in this way: “Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, Placemaking refers to a collaborative…


Celebrating placemaking: The role of arts and culture in community development

Written by on December 14, 2016

Placemaking, wielded skillfully, is a powerful tool to preserve, respect, lift up, and celebrate the culture of a community in ways that go far beyond aesthetics. Giving placemaking and, within that, arts and culture, a seat at the table when community development decisions are made can help to support more equitable outcomes. This can be…