Creating Inviting Places.
There are countless books and articles written about the difference between place and space. It’s not our work to dissect this question, but there’s something important there. How do you describe the quality about an area that is more than its physical qualities? After all, a downtown or thriving business corridor is more than a strip of businesses. Place has character, a feeling. But what creates that feeling?
It is what we as a community build within that space-- the art, the events, the relationships that we develop. It is the emotional response to being in that place, and the way you feel when you walk away. Ultimately, it does not matter what you do to a physical space if there aren’t people there to make the space their own. People make place.
This is one thing that sets NEDCO apart from other business development institutions: we look at business districts as a whole. Healthy local economies are not just a set of businesses; they inherently include neighbors, artists, customers. Residents support local businesses, and businesses support the needs of residents; both rely on one another to thrive.
So, alongside direct business development, when NEDCO works with a business corridor, we work with neighbors to establish what kind of place we are building together. Be it murals and other visual art projects, performance-based or community events, NEDCO works to support the dreams and aspirations of the corridor’s community. Share your dreams with us!
Where is this happening?
In line with our other initiatives, we do our placemaking work in Downtown Mesa and on Apache Boulevard in Tempe. We partner with business owners, artists, and local residents to do this work in businesses, vacant lots, community centers, and in public spaces.
How do we do this?
We do this by identifying and supporting art projects, beautification of public space, and planning community events. This work would not be possible without local artists who share their talents, business owners who understand the value of art, and cities who support art as a placemaking tool.
Creative Placemaking Art Projects
Creative Placemaking is where community building meets the arts to impact quality of life with intention and integrity.
Public Space Beautification
Bicycle racks. Pocket parks. Color and shade. More than curb appeal, NEDCO’s public space beautification is about enhancing the pedestrian (read human) experience.
With all of this incredible work being done by local businesses, artists, and neighbors, events to celebrate are a must. The more the merrier.