Planning Healthy Cities Through Placemaking and Public Art

APA is partnering with Forecast Public Art a two-year pilot project to develop a public art and placemaking learning tool for planners serving small and mid-sized cities. We seek to fill a void in the current options available to professional planners, as well as allied professions, such as urban design, engineering and architecture. Join us to learn more about the project and how you can be involved in our data gathering or as a national advisor.


The partnership, which is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Southern MN Initiative Foundation, is designed to serve communities seeking to improve the health of their cities via the inclusion of artists and art. Our definition of “health” includes the physical health of citizens—exercise, less obesity, lower blood pressure, etc.—but economic prosperity, community wellbeing, social cohesion, livability and a healthy environment. Healthy cities, we believe, boast a quality of life that helps attract and retain talent, businesses, industry, as well as cultural vibrancy. 


During the first year we will engage a curriculum development team to translate our internationally recognized knowledge of the public art and placemaking fields into a beta version of the learning tool. In the second year we will road test the project with a cohort of five cities in Southern Minnesota through temporary demonstrations projects developed with each host city, as well as a robust evaluation component, a video document and a summit gathering involving national advisors in the fall of 2018.