Placemaking Grant Applications Accepted


The Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS is accepting Placemaking Grant applications from municipalities in Cuyahoga County or Summit County.

What is a Placemaking Grant?

The Placemaking Grant is available to state and local REALTOR® Associations to help fund Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper placemaking projects in their communities.

Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper placemaking projects are small, inexpensive, and incremental community projects.  They do not need to cost a lot of money to get off the ground.   Nor do they need to take a lot of time to plan and complete.  But, these smaller types of Placemaking activities can often help to improve a neighborhood and make it a better place to live, work and play.

Lighter Quicker Cheaper projects help to:

  • Create community gathering places
  • Attract residents and visitors
  • Bring life to downtowns
  • Support walkable communities
  • Preserve open and green spaces
NEW in 2017: There is 1 funding level:
  • Up to $5,000 to create new public spaces. The grant can now only be used to fund the creation and building of new public spaces. REALTOR® involvement is highly encouraged. The grant should be used to fund  projects that will have a bigger impact on a community by building gathering spots; creating destinations; bringing life to downtowns; and preserving open spaces. The grant will not fund adding amenities to an existing space.
Grant Criteria & Requirements
  • Project Focus:  Creates, renews or revitalizes a public, outdoor space as a destination and gathering place.
  • Project Requirements
    • Project space must be located outside.
    • Project needs to be a “multi-functional” space for everyone in a community.
      • Dog parks, playgrounds, memorials & community gardens: Plan must include amenities for everyone (seating, paths, art work, etc.)
      • Memorials: only fund amenities, not the actual memorial structure.
    • Involves the participation of the association and engagement of REALTORS®.  Maximum amount is awarded to reflect projects that are Association-led or projects where the REALTOR® Association is a project co-partner.
      • Planning, designing, funding, and member volunteering
    • Involves community partners and local “buy-in”
    • Project is compliant with city permitting and zoning
    • Is accessible to the whole community and all residents
    • Is accessible all, or most, of the time
    • Incorporates the “Power of Ten”: place offers at least 10 things to do or 10 reasons to be there — place to sit, art to enjoy, music to hear, area to read/check email,  food to eat, history to experience, flowers to smell, people to meet, area to play, people to watch, things to learn, paths to walk, etc.


Types of Projects Funded
  • Community gardens have the potential to beautify vacant lots, create places to gather, augment local food supplies and enhance the urban environment in a variety of ways.
  • Parklets are mini-parks created by extending an existing sidewalk into a parking spot(s) to create a space for outdoor seating and more.
  • Pocket parks are usually created on a single vacant building lot or on small, irregular pieces of land. Parks are usually larger projects.
  • Pedestrian Plazas create a great place for residents to gather, sit and relax and could help to revitalize downtown areas.
  • Trails & Paths & Rails to Trails – In addition to creating a place to gather, trails help to preserve and restore open spaces and provide opportunities for physical activity to improve fitness and mental health.
  • Playgrounds & Play Areas – Playgrounds can range from traditional to inclusive, and from small to large. The grant funds smaller play places.
  • Dog parks, a place where not only dogs gather and play, but so too do their owners and residents.
  • Alley Activations & Pedestrian Walkways – Activating alleys to include seating, murals, art, lighting, landscaping, markets, events and much more provides a great place for the community to gather and to draw people to local businesses.


Types of Projects NOT Funded
  • Large Scale Projects:  Limited to projects under $200,000
  • Temporary or seasonal projects
  • Places for a select group of users (i.e. students, athletes, elderly).
  • Places not available to whole community (i.e. public housing project, private property, gated communities)
  • City-wide multi-site projects, i.e. several benches in several parks
  • Large linear projects over several miles, i.e. several benches along a roadway
  • Infrastructure or public works projects:  street repair, lighting, sidewalks, parking lots, bus stops, etc.
  • Construction, repair or replacement of buildings
  • Restoration, repair, improvement, or replacement of amenities (i.e. benches, tables, gazebos), trees/plants, playground equipment, monuments, statues, etc.
  • Indoor facilities such as YMCAs, libraries, community centers, etc.
  • Recreational areas for a single purpose such as basketball courts, baseball & soccer fields, tennis courts
  • Memorial structures
  • Landscaping/beautification projects
  • Marketing Activities
  • Ribbon Cuttings or other Events or Food
  • Media or PR Campaigns

Project Completion:

Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year through September 30th. Projects must be completed within 1 year of grant approval. Only 2 grants are awarded to ACAR projects annually. Celebrating success is important to the program. If your grant request is approved, ACAR would like to participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony or similar event with the community, stakeholders, and media.

Any questions? Contact ACAR’s Government Affairs Director, Jamie McMillen, by email or directly at 216.525.4834.

Submit a Grant Application

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