PROJECTCreative Placemaking and Community Safety


A barrage of paint balloons at Willie's Field

Efforts to integrate arts and culture into projects focused on the physical, social, and economic well-being of neighborhoods have increasingly been referred to as creative placemaking. This work, while often incorporating traditional arts-related efforts like murals, music, sculpture, and dance, encompasses creative work more generally, such as promoting entrepreneurism, creatively engaging stakeholders and residents, and using space in novel ways.

To better understand how creative placemaking can enhance community safety, the Urban Institute studied several creative placemaking efforts, examining their design, implementation, challenges, and successes. The goal of this work is to inform others interested in understanding how creative placemaking improves community safety and how to measure these interventions’ effectiveness.

This project was funded by ArtPlace America and programmatically supported by ArtPlace and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

Case studies


Creative Placemaking and Community Safety: Synthesizing Cross-Cutting Themes
This synthesis piece discusses findings from the four cases, presenting cross-cutting themes that illustrate how creative placemaking techniques can improve community safety by promoting empathy and understanding, influencing law and policy, providing career opportunities, supporting well-being, and advancing the quality of place. The report also discusses implementation challenges and presents evaluative techniques of particular relevance for stakeholders working to understand these programs’ effects.

Blog post

How creative placemaking can break down barriers to improve community safety

Research Areas Neighborhoods, cities, and metros Crime, justice, and safety
Tags Creative placemaking
Policy Centers Justice Policy Center Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center