Advancing Racial Equity Through Place-Based Investing
Placemaking— defined by the Project for Public Spaces as the process of collaboratively creating places that are meaningful to a community and that enhance people’s quality of life— has become an important tool in the community development toolbox to revitalize disinvested, underutilized areas to attract people and activities. However, placemaking efforts can have the unintended effect of displacing vulnerable communities from neighborhoods due to gentrification— with minority and low-income groups being the most affected. Increasing, foundations and others are making an effort to recognize and address this by ensuring community representation in the decision making and design of placemaking efforts. This article in Stanford Social Innovation Review provides an introduction to placemaking and outlines how place-based efforts can integrate racial equity goals in order to address historic inequities and create inclusive communites. The article highlights Detroit's Strategic Neighborhood Fund Initiative, which brings together community developers and private, philanthropic, and public capital to help distressed neighborhoods.