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Placemaking 101

What is placemaking? How can communities evaluate the success of their public spaces?

These questions and more are answered by the Project for Public Spaces at its Placemaking 101 website . Check out the site and learn about tools that your community can use to improve its public spaces.


Help make Ripon one of the Coolest Small Towns in America

Ripon, WI is currently in 6th place in the Coolest Small Town in America competition with 5,590 votes, but Newtown Borough, PA is close behind in 7th place with 5,554. Please keep voting and help them climb back into the top 5!!

To participate in the contest, go to the Budget Travel website and click on the Ripon star located in the center of the Wisconsin map. You can vote once every 5 hours until the poll closes on February 11, 2011.

The top winners will be featured in the September 2011 issue of Budget Travel magazine which would create national exposure for Ripon.

Vote often and help make Ripon the Coolest Small Town in America!!

Join the 2010 This Place Matters Community Challenge

Could your downtown benefit from bringing people, leaders, and preservation-minded folks together to express what places really matter to them? If so, then consider taking the This Place Matters Community Challenge. This campaign, sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, aims to help non-profit preservation organizations raise awareness and mobilize people and to start a conversation about what matters in your community – along with the chance to win a $25,000 cash award!

For more details visit the website and be sure to register your support by September 15.

Upcoming conference on waterfront development

Is your downtown situated on or near a waterfront? If so, how does your community make use of that amenity to strengthen its downtown? If the topic of waterfront development is of any interested to you or your downtown then consider attending the Placemaking & Sustainability Waterfront Synopsis conference in Stavanger, Norway next month.

This event will explore how multi-use facilities along waterfronts can improve downtowns, how good architecture and design can build stronger markets and local economies, and the need for establishing modern infrastructure to open up waterfronts and attract people to those areas.

The conference takes place September 15th – 17th and is hosted by the Nordic Urban Design Association (NUDA) and the Project for Public Spaces (PPS). This will be a great opportunity to learn about innovative approaches to incorporating waterfronts into downtowns. For more information, visit the website.

Nominate Your Downtown as a Distinctive Destination Today!

Does your community deserve recognition for the character of its downtown, or its commitment to historic preservation, sustainability, and revitalization? If it does, then think about nominating your community as one of the Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Each year the National Trust for Historical Preservation honors twelve communities that strive to create a unique sense of place for their residents and visitors.

To learn more about this program and nominate a town or city, visit the website or contact Joelle Schatz at Applications are due by September 10th.    


Welcome to Revitalizing Wisconsin’s Downtowns – through E-Learning and Networking

By downtowns

This program is a cooperative effort between the Wisconsin Department of Commerce’s “Wisconsin Main Street” program, the Wisconsin Downtown Action Council, and two units in the University of Wisconsin-Extension: Center for Community and Economic Development and Local Government Center. The goal: deliver distance education (primarily as webinars) throughout the state to assist local municipalities in developing their downtowns, while also building networking opportunities among participants.

You are now at the discussion blog for the series. For more detailed information about the program and registration, be sure to visit the website,